No tea for mum who gave birth ... but Reilly gets €600 coffee makers
A YOUNG mum who had just given birth to a baby girl got no tea or toast when she returned from the delivery suite because of staff shortages.
Stacey Hayden (23), from Carlow, was shocked to discover she would not be provided with a simple cup of tea as there were no staff around to make it.
St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny has now apologised to the young mum - blaming the embarrassing blunder on staff cutbacks
The revelation lays bare the serious financial problems facing our hospitals -- and comes just a day after it emerged that Health Minister James Reilly splashed out over €600 on a pair of lavish coffee makers.
Stacey, who gave birth to her second child, Ellie, was today relieved to be back home with her children and partner Steven. However her family took to the airwaves to express their "disgust" at the treatment of new mothers in maternity wards.
Steven's mother Paula admitted that she thought a hospital staff member was "joking" when they told her that Stacey would not be given a cup of tea due to cutbacks to "domestic staff".
"I live in Kildare so when I got the call that little Ellie was born, I went straight to the hospital. I was there when she was 40 minutes old. They were wheeling mum and daughter out of the delivery suite and I asked her: 'Did you get a cup of tea darling?'."
She added: "When I asked one of the staff in the hospital if there was any chance of getting a cuppa for Stacey, I was told 'sorry, we lost our domestic, we don't have the facility'.
"I thought 'you're joking, there's a young girl here who has just given birth'."
Paula told Today FM's Ray D'Arcy programme that she believed the blame for the cutbacks lies firmly at the feet of Minister Reilly.
"It was only ten past eight in the evening and you couldn't get as much as a cup of tea. It's shocking that mothers are treated like that. I think the Minister of Health should be ashamed, it's scandalous. If a cat just had kittens, you'd give it a saucer of milk. This is the meanest cutback of all," she fumed.
A HSE spokesperson stated that it "regrets that a staff member was not available to provide a cup of tea/coffee on the night in question".
At night, staffing levels across the hospital are lower and it can be difficult sometimes for staff to provide tea/coffee to patients during the night when they are busy with other tasks, the HSE said.
It emerged at the weekend that despite the stringent cutbacks imposed on the Health system in December's Budget, Minister Reilly forked out €624 of taxpayers' cash on two personal coffee machines -- one for each of his Dublin offices.
The Minister, who owns a luxurious country mansion in Co Offaly, claims he needs the coffee makers because he works "late into the night".