HIGH FIGURES Cllr Michael Kilcoyne understands there have been over 40 cases among staff at Mayo University Hospital. Pic: Ciara Moynihan
THE number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst Mayo University Hospital staff is the highest in the Saolta University Healthcare Group.
That is according to Cllr Michael Kilcoyne, who was reacting to the news, reported in The Mayo News last week, that a nurse at Mayo University Hospital felt ‘let down’ by the senior management after being spat at numerous times by a suspected Covid-19 patient and received poor support.
Cllr Kilcoyne, a member of the west’s HSE Regional Health Forum, said he was ‘disappointed’ that the staff member ‘did not receive the support he deserved’ after the incident, and that he has huge concerns over what is happening at management level in the hospital right now.
“I’m aware that the Covid rate amongst staff in the Mayo University Hospital is the highest in the Saolta group and that’s very concerning because there’s something clearly wrong when this is happening,” he told The Mayo News. “And that is not the fault of the frontline staff at all, because we know the massive work they are doing every day in very dangerous circumstances, and really putting their shoulder to the wheel.
“There are in excess of 40 cases amongst staff by my information and clearly that is down to the way the place is being managed. It raises serious questions for me that there are as many in Mayo as there is in Galway, which has twice the population.
“What’s happening in Mayo University Hospital leaves a lot to be desired from a management point of view.”
According to figures released by the HSE, there are currently 28 confirmed hospitalised cases of Covid-19 at Mayo University Hospital as of 8pm last Sunday evening.
Cllr Kilcoyne raised his concerns over the high level of cases amongst staff in Mayo University Hospital, compared to the town’s other hospital, the Sacred Heart, adding that there are questions that need to be answered by the authorities.
“There is no explanation forthcoming as to why the numbers are so high,” he said. “Why are there over 40 cases of staff who have retrieved Covid-19, especially when you look at the other hospital in the town the Sacred Heart Hospital.
“There’s elderly people there and my understanding is that there isn’t a single case amongst the patients or the staff. So there are questions to be answered.
“There is a concern around the town about this. There must be some explanation from the Saolta Group into what is happening in relation to management at Mayo University Hospital and to why the numbers are so high.”
Protocols being followed
When contacted by The Mayo News, the HSE confirmed there were a number of staff unable to work in Mayo University Hospital due to being in contact with Covid-19, but insisted that all protocols are being followed by all sites.
“Maintaining safe staffing levels is always a concern for acute care services,” a spokesperson said. “Absenteeism data in respect of Covid-19-related leave is collected for the purpose of management information/intelligence and is just one key factor in the planning for delivery of services. We understand the national HSE HR are validating data from all hospitals and it may be available in the near future.
“On any given day since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a number of staff who are unable to work due to contact with Coronavirus through travel, the community, contact with a patient or another staff member. Also, on any given day a number of staff will also be returning to work after a period of self-isolation or illness.
“All protocols and national guidelines are being followed by all hospital sites and these are available on www.hse.ie and www.HSPC.ie.” they stated.