No additional beds will be opened at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Castlebar, to deal with the increasing number of elderly patients in Mayo, a meeting of the HSE West Regional Forum was told this week. The hospital is operating to the 77 bed capacity which has been set out by HIQA.
Fianna Fáil councillor Annie May Reape raised the issue and asked what provisions were being made for the rise in elderly patients as “there appears to be an acute shortage of beds”.
Frank Murphy, HSE area manager for Mayo, said the maximum capacity of 40 beds continues to operate at the Sacred Heart hospital as well as 36 rehab beds that continue to accept referrals on discharge from Mayo General Hospital. However it is not an option to open additional beds in the long stay unit as the bed capacity of 77 beds has been determined by HIQA registration, Mr Murphy explained.
In reply to Cllr Reape’s question Mr Murphy highlighted that eight step-down beds have reopened in Ballina District Hospital over the last fortnight.