Naas General Hospital is in total distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) says the hospital is facing a shortage of 45 frontline workers due to the COVID-19 infection.
The INMO has stated that 35 nursing staff and 10 HCA staff are not currently available at the hospital. Following this, the union asked HSE to suspend all services at Naas General Hospital.
The INMO also advised the hospital management to take further measures including:
● Immediate suspension of all elective/day surgeries and outpatient works to allow safe staffing of inpatient rosters.
● HSE and Naas General Hospital to advise the public of the current challenges within the hospital and to only attend the hospital if absolutely necessary.
● All catchment area GPs be advised of the crisis and referrals to other locations to be made.
Joe Hoolan, INMO industrial relations officer, said that it is unfair for the hospital to remain fully operational when staff levels are at such a critical level.
“We need decisive action to avoid putting patients and staff at risk. Our members have grave concerns regarding significant staffing deficits this weekend and next week,” Mr. Hoolan said.
He said unsafe patient care carries a high risk, while staff struggle to maintain service in unworkable conditions. “The INMO are aware all frontline staff are to have immediate surveillance swabs for Covid-19.”
He demands that patients and staff be given priority at this time. He added that in view of all this, all non- essential services should be suspended for at least seven days.
Meanwhile, the hospital officials said they were working with public health and occupational health to call an Outbreak Control Team to deal with the response to a COVID-19 outbreak at Naas General Hospital.
“The outbreak is being managed to ensure hospital services can continue in a safe environment. Covid-19 testing and contact tracing of both staff and patients is undertaken to ensure the protection of public health. The protection of public health is of the utmost importance and every effort is taken to reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19,” the officials said.