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Beds still closed at NRH as waiting list spirals out of control - Louise O'Reilly TD

18 October, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called for closed beds at the National Rehabilitation Hospital to be reopened and for more investment to be forthcoming to address chronic waiting lists.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“In January of this year the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) had to close twelve beds across the brain injury and spinal cord system programmes because of funding and staffing issues and in order to ensure safe patient care.

“While two of these beds were reopened after dialogue with the HSE, and two more are targeted to be reopened at the end of October subject to successful of recruitment of staff, eight still remain closed even though the NRH has a waiting list of some 236 patients.

"Some of these patients are being forced to wait up to three months for life-changing treatment.

“In the main, these closures are due to funding and recruitment and retention issues as well as a lack of expansion at the NRH.

“It is imperative that the closed beds are reopened immediately because the numbers of beds for the different programmes in the NRH are already low and the waiting lists excessively long. 

"For example, as of September there were 164 people on the waiting list for the brain injury programme at the NRH, yet this programme only has 50 beds.

“There are similar difficulties for the spinal cord programme which can cater for 32 patients but has a three-month list waiting list with 48 people waiting for treatment as of September.

“On top of this, delayed discharges, becuse of a lack of step down facilities and aftercare, mean that 12 to 15 per cent of beds in the brain and spinal wards are not available.

“The work that is done by all at the NRH is amazing and changes people’s lives. That beds should be closed due to a lack of funding is disgraceful.”

“The Government should be properly funding the Health Service, and in particular services such as those at the NRH, instead of cutting taxes as they did in Budget 2018."

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