Fears growing for 100 hospital jobs at Tallaght
FEARS are growing up to 100 nursing posts at Tallaght Hospital.
Derek Reilly, an industrial relations officer with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said many nurses were employed on casual contracts at the Tallaght hospital.
There are fears that the planned closure of two wards, affecting around 60 beds, by the end of the month, could hit nursing numbers.
In addition, the normal budgetary constraints could also have an impact.
Nurses who were on three- month contracts may be affected if they are not required any longer, or nurses who have been getting full-time hours may have reduced hours, Mr Reilly said.
Mr Reilly said he met hospital management last Monday and has requested another meeting next Wednesday, which will also be attended by unions representing other staff working at the hospital, including healthcare assistants.
"We are seeking a full financial briefing from the hospital, and an outline of their plans for 2012 in terms of areas including beds and staffing.
"We want to find out what their plans are and how patient care will be maintained," he said.
The INMO has warned that it is inevitable that such a reduction in bed capacity in Tallaght Hospital will have a huge impact on waiting times in the emergency department, elective procedures and waiting lists.
It said such closures will result in patients presenting in greater numbers to other hospitals, such as St James's and Naas General, which are already overstretched.
Mr Reilly added that he will be meeting Tallaght nurses next Tuesday
When asked about the proposed bed closures, Tallaght Hospital issued a statement: "On an ongoing basis two wards in Tallaght Hospital are occupied by patients who are awaiting placement in nursing homes. This equates to 50 patients.
"The hospital's strategy is focusing on the placement of these long-term care patients in the community where they will receive more appropriate care.
"The transfer of long-term care patients to nursing homes will reduce the number of in-patient beds required."