Patients at St Luke’s should be transferred to private hospitals urgently for the sake of patient safety.
That’s according to Joe Holohan, the Industrial Relations Officer with the INMO.
It comes as the general hospital for Carlow and Kilkenny has reached full ICU capacity today (Thursday), with 5 Covid patients in critical care.
According to latest figures there are 30 patients in total with the virus at the local hospital, along with 4 suspected cases.
Joe says the current situation means they may have to resort to overflow ICU capacity at St Luke’s, which is not an ideal solution;
“St. Luke’s, and all other hospitals, will have a plan in place for that, where they will have designated an area which will become the overflow for intensive care. They’ll dilute their staff, and the skillset will be diluted, but at that stage everyone is just doing their best to maintain some level of patient safety and patient care” he told KCLR Live. “But we’ve seen that scenario already in some of our Dublin hospitals, and the concern is that we do have more capacity in our system in the private hospitals, so we really need to use that ASAP.”
“Private hospitals have nearly 2,000 beds and nearly 200 ICU beds, so we really need to start moving patients from the acute HSE units into the private service as soon as possible. That [extra capacity] is there, it’s just not being used quick enough. But it is a solution to the pressures that public hospitals are under at the moment” he added.