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Standard of care at St Luke’s is being impacted by latest superbug outbreak, says local SIPTU Rep

Denis Hynes' comments come as 30 patients are waiting on trolleys at the local hospital today

SIPTU says the situation at St Luke’s Hospital is almost as bad as Naas General.

A unit at the hospital for Carlow & Kilkenny has had to shut down for new admissions due to a superbug outbreak.

A number of patients in the Medical One GEMS and Stroke Unit have tested positive for the antibiotic-resistant bug CPE.

SIPTU Staff Rep Denis Hynes says staff are already struggling to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and staffing levels are now nearly as bad as in Naas, where the situation has been highlighted in recent days.

87 staff members are currently off work in the Kildare hospital due to contracting Covid-19 or being a close contact of a confirmed case.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation claim some nurses who are self-isolating at home are now being asked to come back early due to staffing pressures in the hospital.

Denis has been telling KCLR that similar staffing issues are now affecting the standard of care at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny;

“I don’t know the exact figure, but I would imagine that we’re not too far away from [the 87 in Naas]. I believe that through nurses, doctors, radiographers, orderlies, security, right across I believe that people have Covid” he explained. “Not only have some got it, but their colleagues then have to go into isolation because of it, and because of that there is an impact in St Luke’s Hospital today. There has been an impact for the last while actually.”

It comes as 30 patients are waiting for a bed in St Luke’s today. Latest figures from the INMO show that 18 of those are on trolleys at the local hospital’s emergency department.

In response to the overwhelming demand at the facility, patients are being urged to only present themselves for treatment if it’s absolutely essential;

“The hospital is extremely busy at this time and we ask patients to consider all of their care options before attending the hospital” St Luke’s Hospital said in their statement this morning. “However if you are unwell and require urgent care, please do attend the hospital.”