FIANNA Fáil TD for Cork South West, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, has called on HSE management and unions to resolve their differences over the proposed staffing levels for the new Bandon Hospital extension.
The state-of-the-art extension was completed in August 2017 with HIQA signing off on the facility in November 2017. However, the facility has remained idle since, due to a dispute over staffing levels.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said: ‘It’s disappointing that the proposed staffing arrangements couldn’t be finalised well in advance of the completion of this project. HSE management have known for quite some time now that new staffing arrangements would be needed. However, the situation has been allowed to drag on to such an extent that the new extension remains idle despite being ready for use for a number of months.
‘This situation needs to be urgently resolved. Respite care services have been suspended in the area until the opening of the new extension. This means that carers are unable to access the support they need to continue caring for loved ones. Carers are without a doubt some of our country’s unsung heroes. We have a responsibility to ensure that their needs are met and where possible, ensure that the State provides the services their loved ones need.
‘I understand that negotiations between HSE management and unions are continuing and the matter is before the Labour Court. This is positive, but we nonetheless need to see progress on the issue in the coming days.
‘The Labour Court needs to deal with this issue as quickly as possible to ensure both HSE management and unions can come to an agreement to resolve the situation. It’s wrong that a state-of-the-art facility is lying idle while our healthcare service struggles to cope with increasing demand,’ concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.