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Ring wants hospital overcrowding addressed


FORUM Deputy Michael Ring wants all stakeholders to sit down to try and deal with the problems manifesting themselves at Mayo University Hospital.

Edwin McGreal

A Mayo TD has been ‘inundated with complaints’ about overcrowding at Mayo University Hospital.
Deputy Michael Ring has called for a forum of all stakeholders to be brought together to try to address the issue.
“I’ve been inundated with complaints from people who have been on trolleys and whose loved ones have been on trolleys. It is not fair to the nurses and doctors in there who have been under tremendous pressure,” Deputy Ring told The Mayo News.
He said staffing and insufficient step-down beds are a big part of the problem.
“The first thing we need is more staff and more support for the doctors and nurses. There is not enough staff there.
“The second thing is there has to be more step down beds. People might not be able to go home due to lack of facilities and then there’s no step down facilities. That has to be looked at,” he said.
Alternatives to people using the hospital’s Emergency Department also need to be explored, Deputy Ring said, citing pharmacies in particular.
“Pharmacies can definitely be used more. They are very good and pharmacists were brilliant during Covid. They were the only port of call at some stages for people. They can certainly be used more by people for minor cases,” he said.
It is key, he said, that the problems are identified and solutions sought and people working on the frontline need to be central to discussions.
“Discussions have to take place with everyone. It cannot be a dictatorship. So the HSE should bring everyone together and there should be a forum with doctors, nurses, consultants, unions, pharmacies, hospital management, everybody. And they need to listen to what people on the ground are saying.
“The hospital has been under tremendous pressure for a number of months now and I’d like to compliment all the staff who have worked so well under such tough conditions,” he said.

No meaningful concern
Cllr Michael Kilcoyne, a member of the HSE’s Regional Forum (West), has been critical of issues at the hospital for sometime and echoed Deputy Ring’s call.  
“I would fully support calls for a forum to discuss this and work for solutions,” he told The Mayo News.
“I’m getting complaints all the time. It is not just overcrowding but waiting lists are an issue too.
“The worst part is I don’t think there’s any meaningful concern by the HSE or the Government to address it. These problems are not new, they’re ongoing for over ten years and getting worse but management at the hospital have not been able to get on top of it,” he added.
In recent weeks, he has called for longer opening hours in the Castlebar Primary Care Centre to alleviate numbers of people presenting at the hospital’s Emergency Department.
“The Primary Care centre in Castlebar should be open until midnight to take some of the pressure off the hospital.
“In terms of step down facilities, there are vacant beds in the Sacred Heart but they don’t have the staff to man them. A lot of good healthcare staff are leaving to go abroad and the level of service will be impacted by good people leaving,” he said.

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