STAFFING issues at Bantry General Hospital (BGH) have forced some medical presentations at the hospital to travel an hour and a half to Cork University Hospital (CUH) in the city.
Management confirmed that due to staffing challenges the Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) at the hospital “was bypassed on a number of occasions in the last week with medical presentations being taken directly to Cork University Hospital (CUH)”.
It was also confirmed that all other services including the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at the hospital are functioning as normal.
It comes following concerns raised by Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan who described the situation as “a mess”, which he said was “impacting the GPs and staff of both Bantry and CUH, the already stretched ambulance service, and most importantly the people of West Cork”.
“Hospital management and the HSE are now working to reallocate two locum consultant physicians from CUH to Bantry in order to cover the shortfall at Bantry.
“This can’t happen soon enough.
Deputy O’Sullivan said that he understands the HSE is having difficulties in recruiting locum consultant general physicians to cover the temporary loss of one of the three existing consulting physicians at the hospital.
In a statement issued to, hospital management said that staff vacancies at BGH have been advertised as they arise and that while the hospital has found it challenging to attract suitable and qualified personnel, “a number job offers have been made with additional consultants resource secured and due to commence in September”.
“In the interim, Cork University Hospital and SSWHG will continue to support BGH in the management of patient services.
“In keeping with normal HSE protocols when hospital services are challenged, GPs in BGH catchment area have been advised of the current situation and members of the public are advised to consider other care options before attending the Medical Assessment Unit at BGH.
“BGH wish to thank CUH for their continued support,” the statement read.
Hospital management have also asked people to think about all their care and treatment options, advising them to contact their Local Injury Unit (LIU), GP or Southdoc service in the first instance.