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Dispute over bed numbers in Covid-hit Clonakilty hospital

July 29th, 2020 11:55 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Hospital: HSE taking HIQA to court.

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A CASE being taken by the HSE against HIQA (Health Information and Quality Authority) over the number of beds at Clonakilty Community Hospital, which recorded 10 Covid-19 deaths, has been described as ‘worrying’ by a West Cork TD.

The HSE is taking HIQA to court over the regulatory body’s insistence on reducing the number of beds at the hospital. HIQA wants the number of registered beds to be cut from 120 to 100.

Both parties attended Bandon District Court last Friday where Judge John King adjourned the case until September 4th for mention or to fix another date.

Local TD Holly Cairns said: ‘We need clarity on what is happening and what is the safest approach for patients and staff. The case also highlights the lack of State investment in public nursing homes facilities and shows the failure of the government’s ongoing reliance on private care for some of the most vulnerable in our society.

‘It is telling that HIQA’s concerns about the number of beds there pre-date the Covid-19 crisis, which shone a light on the very real risks posed by overcrowding in some nursing homes,’ the Social Democrat deputy said.

Meanwhile, Cork South West Independent TD Michael Collins said that funding is needed urgently to bring parts of the community section of Clonakilty Community Hospital up to the required standard.

It has been a turbulent time for the hospital in recent months because as well as recording 10 Covid-19 deaths, it is also believed that HIQA raised concerns about Covid-19 and non Covid-19 patients sharing the same multi-occupancy room.

The most recent HIQA report from January of this year relates to visits to the hospital on September 24th and 25th last year.

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