HSE staff stay in hotels to keep service going in Sligo
HSE WEST has been forced to house members of its staff in hotels close to Sligo regional hospital as a result of the cold snap.
A number of nursing, catering and medical personnel have been housed in the four-star Glasshouse hotel as well as the Sligo park hotel to ensure that they will be able to attend work.
A spokesman for HSE West said: "Hospital management in Sligo made accommodation arrangements with local hotels close to the hospital. Given many staff live long distances from the hospital -- many in rural locations -- we have made arrangements with some local hotels to allow some frontline staff across a range of specialities stay overnight in Sligo town.
"This ensures continuity of service as we couldn't be sure given the conditions that staff would be able to make it to work and our priority is to maintain services for our patients. The number being accommodated varies from night to night depending on shift arrangements, staff on call, weather conditions, etc."
A spokesman for the Glasshouse hotel said that between 45 and 50 bedrooms had been booked by the HSE since January 1.
January is traditionally a difficult month for hotels but the Glasshouse is currently 80 per cent occupied as people are forced to stay because they can't travel home.
The HSE confirmed that between seven and 23 individuals had been staying in the Glasshouse hotel depending on the night but refused to disclose how much they had been paying for the rooms.
The Glasshouse hotel also refused to disclose how much they were being paid by the HSE but did confirm that the HSE was receiving the rooms at a discounted rate. The standard rate for a room is €79.
The staff have been booked in on a bed-only basis as the HSE serve the staff breakfast from their own canteen in the hospital.