Naas General Hospital is among the best in Ireland in terms of making beds available to the general public. Hospital management have been keeping open as many beds as possible for public health care - a move that could incur the wrath of Health Service Executive.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation some 27 beds are open at Naas which are not funded by the HSE, which means that the hospital could run over budget thus drawing criticism from the HSE.
“The hospital may get into trouble for this but it is the right thing to do. There are no beds closed at Naas Hospital,” said Derek Reilly, an official with the INMO. He said at the start of 2013 Naas had 16 closed beds but all all beds are now open and some 30 are “not properly funded.” This is the correct response to the demand crisis and “we can see that since 2011 there has been a decrease of 50% of patients waiting on trolleys in Naas which bucks the national trend which shows waiting times in ED’s increasing elsewhere.”
This has been achieved this without resorting to placing patients in trolley’s inwards. “Naas Hospital is performing better than the national average in the face of cuts and a decrease in frontline services. The INMO wants all local politicians to demand that all beds in Naas remain open and are given funding on a permanent basis. Hospitals that perform well should reap the benefits.” Some 60 nursing posts have been lost since 2008. This posesis posing a serious problem and the INMO is ocncerned about patient safety. “If Naas is to continue to be a centre of excellence there is an immediate requirement to recruit 10 critical care nurses and 20 nurses for ward areas. If not we will see beds closed next year and all the good that is done being reversed.”