Staff at the accident and emergency department of Sligo University Hospital are at breaking point according to Deputy Martin Kenny.
“I have been contacted by nursing staff from the emergency department and patients who have attended there. Staff in the emergency are at breaking point.
“I have emails from nurses during the summer who state that they are so understaffed that they are lucky to get a 30 minute break in 13 hour shift.
“One nurse told me last week that at 3:30 one day recently 71 patients went through the emergency department since 8am that morning.
“There were only five nurses and three care assistants to look after these 71 patients.
“Last week, I witnessed it myself when I had to bring my son to the emergency department with a broken finger he got while playing hurling.
“Patients who were on trolleys were moved onto chairs during the day and then back onto the trolley that night while they waited for a bed.
“This is a totally unacceptable situation both for patients and nurses.
“These nurses are excellent at their jobs and provide great care but the working conditions in Sligo University Hospital is causing them fatigue and stress which is affecting their health, physically and mentally.
“I understand that there is a promise of an additional eight nursing staff by the end of September but unfortunately we have heard these types of promises before. We need additional nursing staff in Sligoemergency department and we need them now. The hospital and the HSE must act now to resolve this crisis and prevent it from getting worse,” said Deputy Kenny.