Date Released: 19 August 2015
SIPTU has called for senior Health Service Executive (HSE) officials to urgently intervene to resolve a staffing crisis at two community care units in County Meath which appears to have resulted in beds being left idle.
SIPTU Organiser, John McCamley, said: “This crisis began after the HSE refused to fill permanent nursing vacancies in St Joseph's Hospital in Trim and Beaufort House in Navan a number of weeks ago. This crisis will compound the ongoing problems in local hospital emergency departments within the region.
“Presently, both units are understaffed to the equivalent of more than eight full-time staff nursing positions and once clinical nurse manager. There are a number of healthcare assistant posts which are also vacant. The situation has been made worse by the inability of local management to source adequate temporary agency cover."
He added: “It is extraordinary and unacceptable that this situation has been allowed continue over the last number of weeks. It would seem that no senior officials in the HSE are willing to deal with it.
“Until the HSE properly resources and staffs community services, such as these units, hospital overcrowding will remain an acute problem. SIPTU has asked the HSE Head of Operations and Service Improvement for Older People, Michael Fitzgerald, to directly intervene in this situation. HSE management must reverse its decision not to fill these vacant posts and put emergency measures in place until new staff are recruited.”