Clifden District Hospital will be closed from today (Thursday ) until Sunday in order to allow staff to take time owed and/or take annual leave, the HSE said last night.
The statement was issued as the HSE nurse staffing level at St. Anne’s Community Nursing Unit (CNU ), Clifden continues to be inadequate.
HSE Community Healthcare West are seeking to redress this situation with nurses from Clifden District Hospital (DH ) supporting St. Anne’s CNU along with some agency nurse support, the HSE told the Advertiser on Wednesday evening.
They added that there are no patients booked into Clifden District Hospital from today Thursday November 24 to Sunday November 27 inclusive.
Clifden District Hospital will therefore be closed for this four-day period during which staff in Clifden DH and St. Anne’s CNU will be given back some of the time they are owed and/or take annual leave.
Staff in both St. Anne’s CNU and Clifden DH are currently covering the roster by agreeing to work on their days off and annual leave days.
The HSE said that while this is very much appreciated, the HSE acknowledges the burden on staff constantly and daily being asked to fill shifts, including those who had specifically applied for and were granted reduced hours.
Staff representatives have also raised this point.
The HSE has a ‘Right to Disconnect Policy’ which allows staff to disconnect and the HSE respects this. In working additional hours to cover the nurse shortfall, nurses have built up significant amounts of annual leave and time owing and these four days will give staff the opportunity to avail of some of this time.
HSE Community Healthcare West said they will continue to review staffing levels to ensure safe sustainable services are provided.
“We are currently running a bespoke recruitment campaign for staff nurses for Clifden with interviews due to take place in the first week of December,” they said.