Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says the HSE and Saolta Hospital group need to undertake an urgent recruitment drive to boost staff numbers at Mayo University Hospital. It emerged this week that all elective surgery at the hospital has been cancelled for four weeks as a result of staff shortages.
Deputy Calleary commented, “The fact that the hospital has been forced to cancel elective surgeries for at least a month outlines the seriousness of the staff shortages across a number of departments. As a result of the failure of the HSE and the Saolta Hospital group to replace theatre nurses who have left in recent months, patients are now being impacted.
“The cancellation of a planned surgery caused major upheaval for patients – many of whom would have to make arrangements to take time off work or have organised transport. They’ll now have to wait until the end of the summer to have their procedures rescheduled and reorganise everything again.
“The situation is also worrying from a recovery point of view – the cancellation of their operations further delays their treatment plan and recovery, and it will add to the already unacceptably long waiting lists for in- and out-patient procedures.
“There have been issues with staffing levels at the hospital for some time – not only are there nursing shortages but there are gaps in consultant roles as well. These vacancies need to be addressed. It’s not good enough that procedures are being cancelled as a result of staffing issues – I am calling on HSE management along with the Saolta Hospital group to implement a recruitment strategy as a matter of priority to ensure that Mayo University Hospital can operate efficiently and effectively”.