Portacabin plan for Letterkenny University Hospital as crisis continues

The overcrowding has been described as a crisis in recent days

Declan Magee

Reporter:

Declan Magee

Portacabin plan for Letterkenny University Hospital as crisis continues

Declan Magee declan.magee@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

The Health Service Executive has been accused of not having a long-term plan for dealing with the overcrowding at Letterkenny University Hospital, after plans were revealed to provide portacabins at the hospital.

The overcrowding has been described as a crisis in recent days by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INO).

The number of patients waiting for beds at Letterkenny University Hospital reached 45 last week and numbers have remained high this week with 31 patients waiting for beds on Tuesday.

Letterkenny councillor Gerry McMonagle said he was very disappointed with the responses he received at the Regional Health Forum meeting in Galway on Tuesday.

Cllr Mc Monagle said it is quite clear that the Saolta Group, that manages the hospital, does not have a long term plan for dealing with the overcrowding situation.

The Sinn Féin councillor said the measures being taken are putting patients and staff at risk.

“They are in total denial to what is actually happening across their board area with knee-jerk solutions being implemented by management to get them over the latest crisis,” he said.

“It’s quite clear the model of management they have adopted is failing and putting patients and staff at risk. Their confirmation today that they were looking at providing portacabins as a short term means to address the trolley crisis speaks volumes of the lack of a long term strategy.”

This week Fianna Fáil councillor Patrick McGowan called for community hospitals to be used to alleviate the pressure in the hospital.

Cllr McMonagle said what is needed to address the crisis is extra long term beds, extra home care packages and increased investment in community hospitals.

“The dignity of patients and protection of staff must be paramount. nurses and doctors are working in very difficult circumstances and must be protected. The minister must intervene and see that LUH gets the funding it requires to help it eradicate the crisis that sees patients continually on trolleys and operations being cancelled.”