Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson, Deputy Pearse Doherty, has called on health authorities to give assurances that the temporary closure of Dungloe Community Hospital following the recent outbreak of the antibiotic resistant bacteria ‘CRE’ will not seriously impact on patient care, and has called on the Health Minister to provide the facility with all necessary resources to minimise infection risk.
Deputy Doherty said: “Last week the HSE issued a statement in which it was confirmed that Dungloe Community Hospital has been temporarily closed to new admissions after the discovery of the antibiotic resistant bacteria ‘CRE’ at the unit.
“I understand that following the discovery, a number of control measures have been put in place to limit the risk of infection and to prevent the further spreading of the bacteria to patients, staff and visitors.
“While I must highly commend the staff at Dungloe for their outstanding efforts to help combat the spread of infection and also to minimise the risk posed to patients and their families, it is now vital that the HSE gives assurances that patient care and service provisions will not be seriously impacted on as a result of this temporary closure.
“It’s crucial that the hospital’s current services are not significantly affected. Dungloe provides a number of very important services such as respite and end of life care with residents having varied levels of dependency ranging from maximum to medium dependency and therefore it is vital that staff are equipped to continue to care for patients and their families.
“Regarding all future admissions, I have also written to the Health Minister to ascertain what intermediate and alternative arrangements will be put in place for those patients needing care while the facility in Dungloe remains closed.
“I have urged the Minister to provide whatever supports are necessary to the hospital to resolve this matter and to pledge that whatever the financial cost may be of minimising the spread of infection, that that cost will not be borne by the hospital and its already stretched budget.”