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Coombe and OLHSC failing to keep up with growing population – Ó Snodaigh

9 August, 2017 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Dublin South Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has expressed alarm at figures he received recently from the Health Service Executive (HSE) which show a cut in the number of available in-patient beds at the Coombe Women’s and Infants University Hospital and Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin over a ten year period.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh was responding to a reply to a parliamentary question he had tabled which showed between 2006 & 2016, the number of inpatient beds at the Coombe and Crumlin Children’s hospitals had been reduced from 207 to 189 and 210 to 182 respectively.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“It is alarming that in a ten year period the numbers of available inpatient beds in the Coombe and Crumlin Children’s hospitals have reduced at a time when both hospitals are serving a rapidly rising population in south Dublin and its outlying regions.

“In the same reply I received from the HSE, they confirmed that the number of day case places in the Coombe had remained static at 26 whilst there had been a marginal increase from 31 to 44 places available in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital. The total inpatient and day-case beds available in both hospitals has therefore reduced over a ten year period.

“The failure to increase capacity at both hospitals, whilst unsurprising, is unacceptable and an indictment of government policy that has resulted in plummeting morale amongst staff and a lack of confidence in our maternity services.

“These points were made by the Master of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital Dr Sharon Sheehan who when addressing a patient safety conference in September 2016, said that the three Dublin maternity hospitals are operating at a 17% deficit in the number of midwifery staff. The people of Dublin South Central and surrounding areas depend on these services and the capacity issue must be addressed.

“These figures indicate a failure to address current demand and represent a complete failure to plan for the future. They represent a chronic under-investment in both the Coombe and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospitals and it is hardly surprising that they are struggling to maintain a proper service for a rapidly expanding youthful population.” 

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