Updated: 01/09/12 : 07:19:27Printable Version
SLIGO GENERAL Hospital is currently experiencing "severe" staffing shortages, according to an assessment by one of the country's main unions.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) warned there could be increased risks to patients and staff as a result. Current workloads are "unmanageable," the union has warned.
Management at the Hospital was also accused by the union of ignoring safety concerns and warned of "serious patient safety issues."
The union said the issue has arisen because of the non-replacement of personnel on maternity leave or sick leave.
Making a call for further information, the INMO queried whether management plans to open empty beds in some wards will proceed.
Said INMO industrial relations officer Maura Hickey on Friday: "I was in Sligo General ospital yesterday and it was obvious that nursing staff were working so short and facing unmanageable workloads, without the time to ensure all patient care plans were fully implemented or the time to consult with each other on clinical matters," .
"It is unacceptable that the HSE would seek to impose such draconian measures which can and will result in serious patient safety issues," said Ms Hickey.
The concerns about Sligo were expressed on the same day that the Irish Independent reveled that some hospitals would be forced to become 'five day' hospitals and to send sick patients home at weekends due to staff shortages.
In a round of cuts announced on Thursday, home help hours -- for patients sent home -- have been slashed.
The cuts are aimed at staving off an end of year deficit of half a billion euro in HSE services.
carried a report yesterday whereby 550 patients are left waiting for ultrasound scans at Letterkenny General Hospital as their referral letters are left unopened due to staff shortages.
See SligoToday.ie 31/8/12