Fianna Fáil TD for Louth, Seámus Kirk, has called on the Minster for Health to clarify if laundry staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital will lose their jobs.

Deputy Kirk was speaking after he raised the issue during Topical Issues in the Dáil yesterday but expressed his disappointment at the reply.

“Currently at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, there are 13 HSE laundry staff and 7 contract workers,” said Deputy Kirk. “The laundry staff have been told that their jobs are under threat but there is no clarity with this matter.

“One staff member told me that she would be offered alternative employment in a HSE facility within 45km. This kind of uncertainty is causing a lot of undue worry for the workers, they simply don’t know what will happen next.

“Having placed the question down, the response I received only confused matters more. I was informed that the Health Service Implementation Body (HSIB) has met with the unions and they are working to provide an in-house laundry service for the region.

“This contradicts what the HSE staff have been told about their futures. Does it mean that the laundry staff will have to service more hospitals in the region? I am calling on the Minister to confirm if he will seek redundancies and if this practice will be rolled out across the Health Service. Is the Minister seeking to introduce contract staff for this kind of work across the board?

“This has already created a lot of uncertainty, the Minister needs to clarify this situation immediately and let people know what lies in store for them.”