Digital Desk Staff
The psychiatric unit at a hospital in the midlands has been locked down after a patient, who was transferred from Dublin without undergoing a Covid-19 swab, infected the entire ward.
According to the Irish Examiner, at least 18 patients and nine staff at Naas General Hospital in Kildare have thus far tested positive for the virus. Mass testing of the hospital’s staff body will not take place before bank holiday Monday.
The male patient in question transferred to Naas from Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown on Friday, October 16th.
He was moved to the general wards within the hospital, which employs in the region of 1,000 people, on Monday, having become ill, and tested positive for the coronavirus.
“This guy was wandering around the hospital for three days. There are people working in this department who move from one section of the hospital to the other. We use the same canteen. Why wasn’t he swabbed?” a source said.
No response had been received from the HSE’s local community healthcare organisation regarding a query on this matter at the time of publication.
The Lakeview Psychiatric Unit at Naas Hospital is a 30-bed ward which adjoins the emergency department within the main hospital building. The unit shares equipment such as x-ray and MRI machines with the rest of the hospital.
Staffing in the unit is now operating at under 50 per cent capacity, according to sources, with replacements having been redeployed from other community services.
Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy described the outbreak as “shocking”.
“How can you possibly manage a congregated setting if you don’t have strict protocols in place for testing?
“It is not a minor deal to be admitted to a psychiatric ward. These people are at their most vulnerable.”