Diabetic patients being let down – Sorca Clarke TD
Sinn Féin TD for Longford-Westmeath Sorca Clarke has condemned the failure of the HSE to reopen the diabetic paediatric services in Mullingar Regional Hospital.
Teachta Clarke said:
“Earlier this week the Paediatric Diabetes Service in Mullingar Hospital cancelled all appointments with immediate effect. In a letter written to families the hospital explained this was due to unsafe staffing levels.”
“The Paediatric Diabetes Service in Mullingar Regional Hospital has been running on low staffing levels some time now with a failure to fill vacated positions. In one instance a serving paediatric diabetes nurse retired in September 2019. We are now in February 2021 and we still have no replacement paediatric diabetes nurse for patients in Mullingar hospital.
“For the 130 families in use of the services in Mullingar this will bring a further amount of anxiety and hardship on them in the middle of a pandemic. Many are worried that they will be forced to travel to Dublin to avail of services.
“When I raised this issue with the Minister in November, I was told ‘There should be no cause for worry in regard to the service in Mullingar’. Well, that wasn't true, what parents and staff have feared for almost 2 years has come to pass.
“There is now no clinical nurse specialist, no social worker and no psychological support. Instead of between 25 and 33 hours of dietician support, there is 3 hours.
“It has been made explicitly clear, this service won't resume until the multidisciplinary team is fully resourced.
“The Minister and Taoiseach must intervene here. He must engage with Professor O'Grady and the Ireland East Hospital group must give a full explanation as to why they rejected a business case that was approved locally.
“This is an absolute disgrace. This is a vital service for 130 children from not only my constituency of Longford Westmeath but across the Midlands.
“This service must be fully resourced and resume urgently.”