Staff shortage keeps 'winter surge ward' closed at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny

Overcrowded conditions at the hospital continue today, with 28 patients on trolleys and wards

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

St Luke's Hospital.

St Luke's Hospital is suffering from overcrowding

The 'winter surge ward' at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny remains closed this week despite the current overcrowding crisis, due to the ongoing national problem of staff shortages.

The 14-bed ward has not been available for use because there is insufficient staff to open the beds. Overcrowding remains a serious problem at the hospital this week, and 28 patients are on trolleys and wards today according to figures from the INMO. The figure was 29 yesterday.

A spokesperson for the Ireland East Hospital Group has said that the staff recruitment process is ongoing.

"St Luke’s Hospital and the Ireland East Hospital Group are doing everything possible to recruit the necessary staff to open the surge ward as soon as possible," said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, local radio station KCLR is reporting that the local hospital is dealing with at least ten cases of 'Aussie Flu' at present. It says these patients must be kept in isolation rooms, which is contributing to the overcrowding.