KEEPING and finding suitable staff for the maternity hospital at CUH is proving to be a ‘challenging issue’, the HSE has said.
The organisation was responding to claims of patients’ being put at risk in CUMH, made by doctors at the hospital.
The doctors say that the ongoing lack of investment in maternity services is resulting in waiting lists of up to 18 months for outpatient gynaecological appointments.
‘The area of obstetrics and gynaecology is a vital service for the South South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) and as such is consistently monitored,’ said a statement. ‘It is a high priority issue as evidenced by the establishment of a group clinical directorate for the service.’
The statement said the priority for the SSWHG is to maximise the use of existing theatre and other gynaecology resources in CUH.
‘The provision of a second gynaecology theatre at CUMH is part of the SSWHG plans for the service,’ it said, adding: ‘Management at CUMH is satisfied that the way to maximise gynaecology activity is through an integrated approach with other departments in the hospital.’
In relation to criticism of staffing levels at the Cork University hospital, the statement from the SSWHG, an arm of the HSE, said: ‘CUMH in conjunction with the SSWHG will continue with its efforts to retain and recruit suitably qualified staff which is proving to be an ongoing challenging issue.’