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Tóibín – Secret report outlines the damning impact of staff cuts in Louth/Meath Hospital Group

21 August, 2012

Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín has had sight of an internal HSE report on the risks associated with a proposed reduction of staff in the Louth/Meath Hospital Group.

Deputy Tóibín, the chairperson of the Save Navan Hospital Group, has described the report, marked strictly private and confidential and not for circulation, as damning and said it backs up everything the hospital group has been saying.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“This report confirms that proposed cuts to agency staff will create serious risk to patient care across the region. The document states that it is proposed to remove 174 staff from Louth and Meath hospital region before December. The report looked at a resultant 49 risks assessments and found that 36 are coded red to indicate the danger and severity of the cut.

“The report clearly states that cuts will necessitate the reduction of 20 acute medical beds in Drogheda. It states that Neonatology and Paediatrics would have to transfer to another location and that 75% of elective theatre activity would have to stop. These are further cuts imposed on a hospital that already has the highest trolley waiting lists in the country north and south.

“The document states that cuts will also lead to an equivalent of closing half ward in Navan Hospitial. It highlights that level of cut will lead to increased delays in the emergency department, impact on the ability to respond to cardiac arrest and increase waiting times for triage. In addition the cuts would delay filing and sending out reports with resultant risks to patients including increased waiting lists for orthopaedics beyond their current shocking 12 month levels.

“What is most significant is that this report illustrates the damage that would be done to the health service in the north east even if 50% of the proposed cuts in agency staff are implemented. These proposals need to be scrapped.

“The over reliance on agency workers is due to poor workforce planning including the recruitment embargoes of this government. There is a need to replace agency staff with full time HSE staff.

“This must be done in a fashion that does not undermine patient care or place undue stress on health care professionals but develops a quality service.  There is a moral obligation on the Fine Gael and Labour TDs to come out of their Summer holidays and join with us to fight these cuts and to invest in health care.”


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