The HSE has explained why the Mayo University Hospital (MUH) has frequent bed shortages – leading to daily overcrowding and a high number of patients being accommodated on trolleys.
A spokesman for the agency said the problems at the Castlebar facility were due to increased attendance in the emergency room.
In response to a question from Councilor Michael Kilcoyne at today’s meeting of the HSE West Forum, an HSE spokesperson said, “This increase is leading to an increase in hospital admissions.
“The long-term care needs of many of these patients require extended hospital stays.
“Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on bed capacity.
“Covid takes an average of between 10 and 25 beds out of the system – either to treat patients with the virus directly or as a result of bed closings due to Covid restrictions.
“This leads to a reduced stationary capacity.
“Even though beds are open in St. John’s Ward, that affects location.
“As a result of Covid-19, all of our emergency rooms are currently operating two ways to stream patients.
“Nurses who previously worked in the Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) in Castlebar are now working in the Acute Covid Assessment Unit (ACAU), which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“The MUH is currently recruiting for the reopening of the AMAU. From December 6th it will be open three days a week.
“This service is expected to expand to a six-day service in early 2022 as more employees are hired as part of an international recruitment campaign.
“This in turn will enable us to restore direct access for general practitioners back to AMAU at the beginning of 2022.”