Fianna Fáil Deputy Charlie McConalogue has called on the HSE to immediately reopen 6 beds at Carndonagh Community Hospital.

According to the local TD, staffing shortages have resulted in the continued closure of 6 of 30 community beds in Carndonagh and it’s having a ripple effect across local health services.

“These bed closures were initially supposed to be a short-term, when the hospital was experiencing staff shortages in April last due to sick leave and annual leave. But more than 5 months on, the beds are still closed,” explained Deputy McConalogue.

“At the end of May the HSE committed to promptly hiring four additional full time staff from the panel of existing home help workers to work as multi task attendants. This was a sensible approach, providing the hospital with additional trained staff who are experienced carers, and providing those carers with career profession opportunities.

But despite this commitment and repeated promises from the HSE, thebeds are still closed.

“It is unacceptable that Carndonagh Community Hospital has been forced to shut down 6 beds for such a long period of time. The hospital plays a vital role in health service provision in the community and in taking pressure off acute hospital services in Donegal. It must be fully supported by the HSE. It provides respite care for people with disabilities, rehabilitation services for patients discharged from Letterkenny Hospital, assessment for patients who need to be monitored over a period of time as well as long term care to many patients. It makes no sense that the HSE is still not allowing the hospital to operate at full capacity, particularly given that 25 beds are still closed at Letterkenny General Hospital as a result of flood damage.

“I am again calling on the HSE to follow through on their commitment to reopen these beds immediately. The additional staff required at Carndonagh Community Hospital must be recruited immediately so that the facility can operate at full capacity and continue to play an important role in our local health services,” said Deputy McConalogue.