A Donegal Senator has hit out at the Health Minister over his response on funding provision for Letterkenny University Hospital.
The proposed funding injection would reopen 20 beds at the hospitals Short Stay Ward while also cater for additional staff.
However, following questions to Minister Simon Harris from Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn on the issue, the Minister said the responsibility was with management at the hospital.
Senator MacLochlainn has described the Ministers response as a farce:
Statement in full:
“To ask the Minister for Health the status of a request by Letterkenny university hospital to re-open its short stay ward and 20 beds to alleviate the pressure on the accident and emergency department at the hospital; if the hospital’s related request for additional staff to operate the ward will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter”
The Health Service Executive has been requested to reply directly to you in the context of the above Parliamentary Question/Public Representation which you submitted to the Minister for Health for response. I have examined the matter and the following outlines the position.
The 19-bed Short Stay ward in LUH was closed recently due to the commissioning of two newly refurbished wards, namely CCU with 8 beds and haematology/oncology ward with 11 beds. The net number of beds in the hospital remain the same. LUH has submitted a proposal to Saolta under the Critical Unmet Need & Winter Surge initiative for funding to re-open the beds which would increase the in-patient bed capacity in the hospital from 330 up to 350 beds. This bid is made on the basis of analysis of historical activity data in LUH over the past two years which show an ongoing deficit of on average 20 beds to address both full capacity issues and scheduled care admissions. We are awaiting a decision on same around October this year. The beds could come on line in one month post approval to proceed.