Tuesday, November 23, 2021

More than 180 HSE staff in Mayo, Galway, and Roscommon have been on Covid-related leave over the last 60 days.

The absences have been across hospitals, primary care centres, and community nursing units. The figures were revealed at a meeting of the Regional Health Forum West today.

A total of 61 Covid related absences was recorded over the last 60 days across Primary Care Services, Community Healthcare West (Galway/Mayo and Roscommon).

There were 103 staff out due to Covid-19 in community nursing units across the three counties. Mayo had by far the highest number of absentees in this healthcare setting with 53.

If staff cannot be replaced it means that Community Nursing Units cannot operate their full complement of registered beds. where staff are unexpectedly absent it creates gaps on rosters which are difficult to fill due to the shortage of Health Care Workers and puts pressure on existing staff, potentially impacts on ability to provide highest levels of service and occasionally lead to regulatory compliance issues. In an effort to address staffing issues, we are actively engaged in recruiting staff nurses, clinical nurse managers, multi task attendants and Homecare Support workers through bespoke campaigns run here locally international recruitment,” said Mary Warde, Head of Primary Care Services, Community Healthcare West:

Meanwhile, there were 22 Covid-19 related absences in Mayo University Hospital, Galway University Hospital, and Roscommon University Hospital during the past 60 days.

Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on staff absences through either testing positive/showing symptoms or through the large number of staff considered vulnerable, cocooning, and pregnant. As a result of these staff shortages across all sites, it can be challenging to fill staff rosters and cover on-call at short notice. Gaps in rosters are covered by use of agency, through redeployment and through staff postponing leave to cover at short notice in order to ensure consistent and safe delivery of care to patients. Their continued hard work and dedication is commended,” said Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare West.

Tuam-based Fianna Fáil councillor Donagh Killilea raised the matter ahead of today’s forum meeting. “It’s very worrying given the level of Covid within hospital settings at the moment,” he commented.

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