Bed shortages in Letterkenny

Letterkenny General Hospital simply does not have enough beds to cope with the number of patients accessing its services.

This is according to the hospital's bed usage committee, which is made up of a number of staff at the hospital, including consultant doctors and nurses.

The committee has written an open letter to the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern and the Health Minister, Mary Harney, to highlight the issue. The letter states that while the committee welcomes the planned development of a new A&E unit, without additional beds, 'patients will continue to wait on trolleys for long periods'.

"Put simply, Letterkenny General does not have enough beds to cope with the number of patients accessing the hospital's services...We ask the Taoiseach and the Health Minister, as a matter of urgency, to approve an increase in bed capacity in appropriate accommodation", the letter states.

Commenting on the issue, Liam Doran, general secretary of the Irish Nurses Organisation, said that the lack of beds in Letterkenny was a 'significant issue' for all service users.

"The hospital consistently works at full capacity, with many patients requiring admission having to wait on trolleys in the emergency department, or having to be cared for in the day ward. There is a clear requirement for increased bed capacity in Letterkenny General", Mr Doran said.

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