Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Nurses at Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar have claimed the crossover of staff between Covid and non-Covid patients continued up to this week despite assurances from hospital management that it had ceased over a month ago.

In an extraordinary interview with RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime programme this evening, one nurse said it was “simply not true” for management at Mayo University Hospital to claim there was no crossover between positive, suspected and non-Covid patients.

The HSE had said earlier this week that a system of streaming patients into Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 pathways has been in place at Mayo University Hospital since mid-March in line with the guidance at the time to ensure confirmed or suspected cases were kept physically separate from other patients.

The HSE issued the statement in response to a complaint from the family of Bellacorick man Jackie Carolan who died at the hospital on April 1 last. Mr Carolan’s family blamed ‘dreadful management’ for his death and said Covid and non-Covid patients were being treated on the same ward.

There allegations have been endorsed by healthcare workers in today’s Drivetime interview with one nursing claiming the Covid and non-Covid crossover has continued up to this week and that on her own ward, she and her colleagues have been caring for Covid and non-Covid patients. She added they wear PPE gear at all times but said they could go between Covid and non-Covid patients up to 20 times a day.

The nurse, whose allegations were voiced by an actor, said there were three wards in the hospital operating in this way up to the end of last week and added that she and other members of staff were “blue in the face” questioning these policies.

Staff told Drivetime that hospital management had issued a letter to staff asking them not to discuss hospital business outside of the hospital.

Another nurse said over 100 staff had tested positive for Covid-19 at the hospital which led to staffing issues. She expressed concern that if the hospital were to experience another surge in cases, something similar would happen again.

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