Sinn Féin TD for Sligo-Leitrim Martin Kenny has called on the Minister for Health to step in and provide funding for additional staff amid concerns for overcrowding and understaffing at the emergency department in Sligo General Hospital.
Speaking from his constituency today, Teachta Kenny said:
“Over the last number of weeks, I have spoken to both staff and patients who are deeply concerned about the chaos in the emergency department here in Sligo General.
“At times, there are only 10 nursing staff per shift. These fantastic nurses, who carried us through the very worst of the pandemic, are now struggling to keep up with a chronically understaffed and overcrowded ED.
“From what I can see, they have been given little, if any, support from the HSE.
“There is a risk that parts of the ED might be unsupervised if a Resus patient comes in due to the understaffing.
“That is absolutely scandalous, and this is causing huge distress to staff.
“Patients have informed me they have witnessed other patients go into cardiac arrest or suffer a seizure while they waited for a bed.
“I understand it is quite normal for patients to wait between 12 and 18 hours for a bed, with some waiting for 48 hours in extreme cases.
“Patients need treatment, and nurses are more than happy to support and care for them in any way they possibly can. What they cannot do is continue to work under this kind of extreme pressure.
“I wrote to management at the hospital and the Minister to show solidarity with these undervalued nurses, and share my concerns for patient care given the reports that have been made to me.
“This entire situation is complete chaos, through no fault of the staff. It is high time Minister Donnelly came and met these nurses and patients face-to-face to explain exactly why they are expected to treat – or be treated – in these circumstances.”