Work on 42-bed extension at Sligo University Hospital to begin by the end of the year, meeting told

Sligo University Hospital.

Sligo Champion

No further delays will be accepted, Cllr Declan Bree told the most recent meeting of the Regional Health Forum West, when he was advised that construction work on the proposed new 42 bed medical block extension to Sligo University Hospital was expected to commence before the end of the year.

In response to a formal question submitted by Cllr Bree, the Chief Executive Officer of the Saolta Hospital Group, Tony Canavan, said: “The new 42 bed medical block project at Sligo University Hospital is included in the HSE’s 2023 Capital Programme with funding allocated to complete the design and tendering processes and commence construction works before year end.

“Tenders will need to be sought from short listed contractors over the Summer period and HSE Board approval will then be required in the Autumn to award a public works contract to construct the intended new facility.”

Acknowledging the reply Cllr Bree said “At this stage, people in Sligo and in the South Donegal and Leitrim area which the hospital serves, will not tolerate any further delays.

“It has been almost four since planning permission was granted for the construction of the 42 bed extension at the hospital.

“A number of months back 54 consultants who are based in the hospital, all sent emails to the Minister for Health and other members of the Oireachtas to highlight the shocking and unacceptable conditions for patients and staff at the hospital.

“Such a move by medical consultants is unprecedented and it reflects the deep concern they share regarding the continuing failure of the Government and the Minister for Health to provide adequate resources for SUH.

“Ten years ago there were 318 beds in the hospital. Today, there are 288 beds in the hospital.

“Because of the lack of sufficient beds the hospital does not have the ability to absorb the number of patients, who consistently end up lying on trolleys.

“A bed occupancy of 85% is generally considered to be the limit at which hospitals are able to work safely and effectively.

“However, Sligo University Hospital has consistently had an average bed occupancy rate of in excess of 100%. This is clearly shocking and unacceptable as it puts huge pressure on nurses and doctors.

“I can assure the Chairman and the Chief Executive that those of us from the North West region will be keeping a watching brief on developments in the months ahead,” said Cllr Bree.