The HSE is understood to have stood down controversial contingency plans to move patients from Ballina District Hospital in order to deploy staff to deal with an outbreak of Covid-19 in a north Mayo nursing home.
The proposals were first highlighted by local FF Dáil Deputy Dara Calleary on October 24 when he urged the HSE to reconsider the move, highlighting that it was inappropriate to move patients during level 5 restrictions and unfair to staff.
While it was claimed that a number of patients were moved from the male ward of Ballina District Hospital to another care facility the HSE maintains that the proposal represented a contingency plan that had not been implemented.
Deputy Calleary this evening told the Western People that the HSE has confirmed that while a Covid-19 challenge prevails in another facility in the area, the plans to move patients out of Ballina District Hospital have been stood down.
He welcomed the announcement but criticized the HSE for having left staff at Ballina District Hospital in the dark in relation to its contingency plans in recent weeks.
The Deputy stressed that staff should not have to rely on local elected representatives and the media to find out what is going on in their place of employment.
He called for full and direct engagement by HSE management with Ballina District Hospital staff going forward to include an online Q&A in relation to any concerns they might have.
“They need to come up with a full development plan for Ballina District Hospital that would see the facility used far more than it currently is,” he continued.
“This situation should not arise again in relation to Ballina District Hospital or any other HSE facility,” Deputy Calleary warned and vowed to keep a very close eye on the operations of the facility.