Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has hit out at the HSE for failing to replace nursing staff at Buncrana Nursing Unit, leading to the closure of 5 beds at the facility since mid-December.
Deputy McConalogue is warning that services are under severe pressure as a result of the staff shortages.
“The first week of the New Year is traditionally one of the busiest for our health service and serious questions need to be answered as to why staffing levels at the Buncrana Nursing Unit were allowed to fall so dramatically. It makes absolutely no sense to have 5 beds at the facility closed at any time but it is particularly the case at a time of peak demand, yet this is exactly what has happened”, said Deputy McConalogue.
“The HSE has failed to provide the necessary replacement staff in a timely manner, and this has resulted in a number of bed closures at the unit. It’s now feared that unless these staff shortages are addressed some of the day services may also be affected. This is completely unacceptable.
“The current situation is putting severe pressure on an already overburdened system in Donegal. Patients who would normally be transferred from Letterkenny University Hospital to Buncrana are having to remain in the acute hospital because of the bed closures in Buncrana.
“The provision of replacement staff must be made a priority. These beds are essential, not only for the Buncrana unit itself, but also to relieve the overcrowding situation in Letterkenny.
“I will be working along with my colleague Cllr. Rena Donaghey to demand additional staff for Buncrana Nursing Unit as a matter of urgency”.