A total of 77 public beds have been closed in community nursing homes (CNHs ) and hospitals throughout Mayo in recent times, at the same time as health cutbacks and home help hours have been reduced.
The figures, provided in a newly released Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation report this week, show that nationally 2,402 public beds have been closed, with the breakdown in Mayo as follows:
Aras Derbhaile, CNU Belmullet: one bed closed.
St Augustine’s CNU, Ballina: six care of the elderly beds closed.
Belmullet District Hospital: 20 care of the elderly beds closed.
Dalton Facility Claremorris: nine beds closed.
Mayo General Hospital: 16 male surgical beds closed (acute beds ).
McBride Nursing Home: nine beds closed.
Sacred Heart, Castlebar: 10 beds closed.
Swinford District Hospital: six beds closed.
The report also shows that in Merlin Park, Galway, a total of 91 beds were closed in addition to 18 beds at St Francis’ CNU and 17 beds at University Hospital Galway.
The findings were among the many healthcare issues highlighted at the national INMO conference held this week which was attended by up to 400 nurses and midwives over three days and at which more than 50 motions were put to members to vote on.
This year’s conference theme, Safe Care – Safe Practice – No Compromise, was designed to reflect the realities facing members on the frontline as they strive to maintain safe care with reduced resources despite ever increasing demand for services. There has been a reduction of 5,000 in nursing/midwifery staffing numbers since 2007, with 2,000 leaving in the past year.
Sheila Dickson, INMO president, said: “The recruitment moratorium remains a most destructive and irrational tool which has, is, and will continue to do huge damage to frontline public health services.”
INMO general secretary Liam Doran added: “ It is quite clear, from the conference agenda, that the key concern of nurses and midwives is the critical issue of providing safe care to patients/clients.”
The conference included a call for the Minister for Health James Reilly, who will address delegates today (Friday ), to issue a revised organisational plan for the Irish health service.