Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Photo of Christopher O'SullivanChristopher O'Sullivan (Cork South West, Fianna Fail)
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30. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to current staff shortages at Cork University Hospital; the measures that are being taken to resolve this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16988/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Firstly, I am advised that the numbers employed by Cork University Hospital (CUH) have increased by 17% since the end of 2018.

The HSE has informed me that the increase in COVID 19 cases over the past few weeks has placed CUH under pressure. This is due to the impact of the increase in cases being hospitalised and from the growing staff absences relating to COVID 19 infections. Despite these challenges, the HSE has advised that CUH continues to maintain all services, highlighting that the isolation of Covid positive patients and contacts has been maintained.

The HSE has further advised that, in order to maintain rosters, the hospital has used agency staff, where available, as well as seeking overtime from available CUH staff. I am cognisant of the efforts and flexibility the staff have displayed and I'm advised that the Management at CUH continue to relay their appreciation to staff. In addition, the HSE has advised that the recruitment campaign at CUH is ongoing, targeting recruitment across all disciplines in the hospital.

The HSE has confirmed that forensic monitoring of patient and staff infection outbreaks will remain a high priority for CUH. At the same time, they advise that CUH will also continue to focus on the issue of service expansion and the importance of providing strategic leadership at this time.


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