independent

Thursday 17 January 2019

Sligo entitled to more hospital beds funding

Sligo University Hospital. Pic: Nuala Kerrigan
Sligo University Hospital. Pic: Nuala Kerrigan
Cllr Rosaleen O'Grady

Sorcha Crowleyat Sligo County Council meeting

Health Minister Simon Harris can expect a letter from Sligo County Council soon, asking for an update on the provision of funding for new beds at Sligo University Hospital.

Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady moved the motion, claiming the capacity and infrastructure of the hospital is a "major problem."

"It's not fit for purpose," she told the meeting.

"What the hospital really needs is a new block, costing ¤100million - this is what Emergency Unit consultant Fergal Hickey told us in July," she said.

She said that over 9,700 people were left waiting on trolleys nationwide last month, which was a rise of 11 per cent on November 2017.

"On 30th November 2018 in Sligo there were 30 people on trolleys," she said.

She quoted Peadar Gilligan of the INMO who said the country was headed into "the perfect storm" because in winter hospitals can expect a higher throughput of patients.

"It's a failure by Government of adequate policy. I want to keep the upgrading of Sligo University Hospital on the agenda," she said.

"We need fifty beds on an interim basis to carry on any kind of service and ensure access for the protection of the people in this area.

"It's nothing more than what people are entitled to," she said and appealed to Government councillors to lobby for the Capital funding to be put in place.

"They're hugely important services for this area," she added.

Cllr Keith Henry supported her and pointed to the fact that there were 281 in-patient beds at Sligo hospital since 2015.

"In 2016 there were 2,558 people waiting on trolleys, 2,649 in 2017 and 3,448 in October 2018," he told the chamber.

He said that to see patients on trolleys in the middle of summer was indicative of a "failed system."

"I want to thank Cllr Henry for his support and all my colleagues, some of whom can be very articulate on roads, to help ensure the needs of our hospital will be looked after," said Cllr O'Grady.

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