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INMO Condemns Closure Of Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit. 03.11.11

PRESS RELEASE,  Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has condemned the imminent closure of Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit, as announced yesterday, November 2nd, saying it is a devastating blow for residents, staff and the community of Laois.  This extremely well run Unit, with a 50 bed capacity, currently houses 28 residents and provides a very high standard of care to those who call it their home.
According to the INMO, Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit has been badly affected by the recruitment moratorium in that a high number of staff have retired over the past two years and have not been replaced.  However, rather that address the situation by replacing those who have left to allow the Unit to continue to operate at full capacity, the HSE has been closing beds over this period culminating in this outrageous and illogical decision to fully close the Unit.
The latest INMO trolley statistics for the region show a huge increase in numbers of patients waiting on trolleys for an inpatient bed during October this year compared to October 2010, as follows:
  • Mullingar – 123 in 2010 compared to 326 in 2011 – up 165%
  • Portlaoise – 28 in 2010 compared to 293 in 2011 –  up 946%
  • Tullamore – 100 in 2010 compared to 212 in 2011 – up 112%
Speaking today, Lorraine Monaghan, INMO Industrial Relations Officer said:
“This is a brutal and cruel decision which will end up costing the HSE and the Government more in the long run as the number of delayed discharges in the Midland acute hospitals continues to rise due to the scarcity of long term care beds, such as those that have been available in Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit.  In addition, it is clear that there has been no consideration in terms of the impact the closure will have on residents who will effectively be removed from their homes at this late stage in their lives.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is calling on the Government to open all closed elderly care beds in the region to allow for the discharge of patients who have finished the acute phase of care in Portlaoise, Tullamore and Mullingar Regional Hospitals, to long term care beds, as appropriate.  Failure to do so will lead to a complete meltdown of an already fraught acute hospital system in the Midlands”.
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie