Denis Naughten has welcomed confirmation by the HSE that two existing theatre nursing vacancies at Roscommon County Hospital are to be filled through the redeployment/internal transfer of staff.
“The theatre nursing posts are not only vital to the running of the running of surgery but also the maintenance of the 24/7 A&E department at Roscommon County Hospital,” stated Denis Naughten.
“Due to retirements and maternity leave the number of theatre nurses at Roscommon County Hospital has been reduced and this was placing a question mark over the safe operation of the A&E department.
“However, due to a determined campaign by the local community along with staff and management at the hospital, approval has now been obtained to fill one permanent and one locum theatre nurse post through redeployment/internal transfer and I understand that this process has commenced
“It is expected that once appointed, the additional nurses and the existing surgical team at Roscommon County Hospital will clear the waiting list within 12 weeks which will then leave Roscommon in a prime position to treat additional patients through the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF)
“It is expected that the NTPF will be requested by the Health Minister James Reilly to look at diverting patients away from private hospitals to public hospitals with spare capacity, like Roscommon County Hospital, over the coming months.”
Denis Naughten added: “These nursing appointments go back to a commitment given to me by the previous Health Minister Mary Harney last January. In the Dáil on that occasion she said that she was aware of the shortage of nurses in Roscommon and had spoken to the HSE about the quantum of nurses in the region to ensure Roscommon can function adding that she did not want to see a hospital with a deficit because of a particular problem in regard to nurses.
“She went on to give me a specific commitment that there is a sufficient number of nurses in the region to assign nurses to Roscommon County Hospital. I’m glad that this is now being fulfilled and that we can see additional patients treated at our hospital over the coming months.”