Daly Says Urgent Action Is Needed At UHK Before Winter Season

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Deputy Pa Daly.

KERRY Sinn Féin TD, Pa Daly, has expressed concern at delays in capital improvements to University Hospital Kerry and has called on Minister Donnelly for urgent intervention ahead of the winter season.

Deputy Daly said he is contacted daily by constituents regarding the situation in University Hospital Kerry and the HSE, expressing concern about the under-staffing at the hospital which is leading to lack of services, delays in care, and causing undue stress and worry.

“Since the election, one of the most pressing issues has been University Hospital Kerry,” said Deputy Daly.

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“It is the only acute hospital in our county, and people are genuinely concerned. In November 2020 Kerry TDs secured a meeting regarding the measures UHK was taking to address staffing issues and capacity constraints at the hospital.  We heard about works due to be carried out over the Winter of 2020/21 including a Cardiology Unit; ICU expansion and improvements; new buildings for Oncology Services, an Orthopaedic Ward as well as Women’s Health / Colposcopy outpatients department to be located in Tralee town centre.

“Earlier this week, I attended another meeting with the South/South West Hospital Group and UHK Management, attended by all Kerry TDs to discuss the current situation.  I was very disappointed to hear that works due to be completed have not moved at all.

“These works, apparently approved and budgeted for, are sitting on a desk in Capital Projects within the HSE in Dublin.  This is simply unacceptable and I have requested updates on the status of all UHK capital projects with Minister Donnelly.”

He also called on Minister Donnelly to make plans to install a modular unit at the front of the hospital to facilitate assessments and Covid overflow, and relieve the crisis within the Emergency Department.

“It is clear that we will not manage through the winter unless the Minister acts now to alleviate the overcrowding.  This is a measure that is already budgeted well ahead of Budget 2022 and there is no reason for a further delay,” he said.

“Staffing within the hospital has to be addressed as a matter of priority. There is no plan at the moment to restart Elective Surgeries in UHK and this was extremely disappointing to hear. I was particularly disappointed to hear shortly after the meeting that the Aghadoe ward would be closed in UHK to address capacity issues,” he added.

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