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Surgeries scaled back at Kerry General Hospital

4 March, 2008


North Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has said that elective surgery lists at Kerry General Hospital have been cut back this week to allow nursing staff participate in a refresher course at the Centre for Nurse Education. However, Deputy Ferris said that if the hospital had the required number of nursing staff to provide cover there would be no need to reduce surgeries.

He was also told by hospital management that there is significant pressure on bed availability within the hospital due to the high level of admissions through the A&E department. The Sinn Féin TD added that the continued closure of the Clonfert ward due to staff shortage was unacceptable.

Deputy Ferris said, "I have been informed by management at Kerry General Hospital that elective surgery lists were reduced on last Thursday to allow nursing staff who work in the Theatre to participate in a preoperative anaesthesia update at the Centre for Nurse Education. This is a completely unacceptable situation.

"If the hospital had the required number of nursing staff then cover could have been provided while this course was taking place and there would have been no need to cut surgery lists. However the HSE's failure to provide adequate nursing staff at Kerry General Hospital is putting the hospital under serious strain and putting patients under unnecessary distress.

"The hospital has also admitted that there is serious pressure on bed availability because of the high level of admissions through A&E. However, there is no doubt that the continued closure of the Clonfert ward because of staff shortage is contributing to the pressure on bed availability.

"According to the INO's Trolley Watch figures there were 11 patients waiting on trolleys in the A&E on the same day that surgery lists were cut. While there may not be a link between the two, there certainly is a link between the crisis in the A&E department and the lack of staff and the lack of beds within the hospital. While the HSE continues to fail Kerry's health services the government continues to sit on its hands." ENDS

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