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30 beds facing axe at Reilly's first hospital

The hospital where Minister James Reilly trained as a junior doctor is to shut almost 30 beds, it has been revealed.

An internal memo circulated at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin told staff that 28 beds across two wards will be closed in a bid to help tackle a projected €7m budget deficit by the end of the year

The news comes just days after a meeting took place with Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, Health Minister James Reilly, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and hospital consultants.

After the meeting, Ms Burton said: "Obviously there are budgetary issues, however, I was very encouraged at Minister Reilly's commitment to Connolly Hospital."

However, the memo by hospital management stated that a total of 12 inpatient surgical beds will be closed gradually.

A surgical day ward will close from October 24, with the loss of 24 beds. It will reopen for six weeks in early November, but will only include eight trolleys, "to facilitate urgent day cases".

A HSE spokesman said the hospital had statutory obligations to meet its allocated budget, and that "every effort" was being made to minimise the impact on patients and clients.

hnews@herald.ie