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Tallaght bed closures “devastating” – Crowe

7 January, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

Tallaght based TD Seán Crowe has described the closure of 62 beds in Tallaght hospital as “devastating”.

Deputy Crowe said:

“The revelation by the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation that Tallaght Hospital is to close 62 beds before the end of January, including a 31-bed ward, is a devastating blow to hospital care in this region which is served by one of the country's busiest trauma hospitals.

“The closure of these beds is taking place without any consultation with staff and in an unplanned and arbitrary way.

“These bed closures should not be happening. Because of the devastating health cuts imposed by the Fine Gael/Labour Government in Budget 2012, these closures will no doubt be the first of many in 2012.

“No consultation has been carried out regarding these closures and no assessment has been made. Closing beds in this haphazard way seriously undermines the quality of healthcare available to the general population in this region.

“2,000 public hospital beds are currently closed due to cutbacks and 3,100 nursing and midwifery posts have been lost due to the recruitment embargo.

“These closures will have a devastating impact on waiting times, including in emergency departments.

“Tallaght Hospital is already under serious and sustained pressure with additional beds being placed on inpatient wards. Overcrowding compromises patient care and leads to increased risk of infection and infectious conditions including the winter vomiting bug and MRSA. The closure of 62 beds in Tallaght will inevitably lead to greater pressure and expose the hospital to more overcrowding in the future.

“In October Minister Reilly said in reply to questions that he did not agree that more beds closed meant more patients on trolleys and more people waiting for vital operations and treatment. The Minister needs to get his act together and start visiting the hospitals where these bed closures are happening and see for himself.”

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