20 More Acute Beds To Go At Connolly, But Hospital Cost Cutting Still Doesn’t Add Up

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Key Facts

·  Internal HSE document shows that even with bed closures, staff losses and other measures Blanchardstown hospital is still €6.1m off its €9.86m 2012 cost cutting target

·  20 more acute surgical beds are to be closed; follows from 28 bed closures in October 2011

·  Hospital cannot reduce further to arbitrary government targets unless it turns sick people away

·  Patients facing longer waiting lists and poorer quality care from overstretched staff

In Detail

Friday, 30 March 2012: The Defend Blanchardstown Hospital campaign has seen internal HSE documents outlining cost cutting measures for 2012 that will see a further 20 acute surgical beds in the hospital closing. Despite this and other measures, such as reduced staffing numbers, the hospital is still €6.1 million short of reaching its cost cutting target set by the government.


The presentation, available upon request, outlines cost containment measures in 2012 amounting to €3.762m, including bed closures, staff reductions from retirements and reductions in overtime for existing staff. All of these measures will lead to a depleted service being delivered to patients, who will have to wait longer to access care in the hospital.


The hospital has to reach a budget target of €76.1m in 2012, down from a spend of €90.2m in 2011.


Staff shortages from non-replacement of retiring clinical staff and the reduction in agency staff and overtime is leading to direct service curtailments in the hospital. A specialist laboratory in the hospital that has been reduced from four to one lab technician has to close when the remaining staff member takes a holiday. The amount of patients that can be admitted, even when emergency beds are opened, is limited by the number of staff available to provide an acceptable level of care.


“Connolly Hospital missed its budget target in 2011 because too many sick people showed up to its doors seeking care,? said Aaron McKenna, coordinator of the Defend Blanchardstown Hospital Campaign. “Hospital management is openly admitting that closing more beds and curtailing services further in 2012 will get them less than 40 per cent of the way to the cutback target set by the government.


“Given that the cuts planned to date don’t add up to the target, we can only surmise that deeper and deeper cuts to services will have to be made, leading to less procedures and longer waiting lists for patients,? McKenna continued. “What we will be left with is a non functioning hospital that cannot treat the sick. The government needs to rediscover its moral compass and ask if delivering such cuts to the sick and infirm is worthy of a civilised society.?



Aaron McKenna

Campaign Coordinator