June 8, 2023

REVEALED: Full scale of Kilkenny maternity and nursing staff shortage


THE full scale of the staffing crisis at St Luke’s General Hospital has been revealed in worrying new figures

KilkennyNow.ie has learned one out of every six midwife positions is currently unfilled. Meanwhile, one in every 10 combined nursing and midwife positions are also currently vacant.

This figures were obtained in response to a series of questions put to the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG), which oversees St Luke’s.

They reveal a total of 51 midwives, including shift leaders, clinical specialists and advanced nurse practitioners, are currently employed at St Luke’s. There are 12 vacant midwife posts at the hospital, meaning one in every six posts is vacant.

There is a total of 358 nursing staff across all other areas including general nursing, medical and surgical wards, paediatric services, critical care services, the emergency department, outpatients, clinical specialists and advanced nurse practitioners. St Luke’s has 32 nursing vacancies at this moment in time.

Of the 453 nurses or midwife positions in the hospital, 44 are unfilled.

The chronic staffing shortage is adding to the pressure on available beds at St Luke’s and its maternity unit. St Luke’s recorded some of the highest figures of patients being admitted to hospital without a bed being available to them, with 65 recorded as being on trolleys up to yesterday morning.

The IEHG confirmed to KilkennyNow.ie that a consultant gynaecologist has recently been appointed and has begun work at St Luke’s. The role was advertised earlier this summer.

Two weeks ago KilkennyNow.ie revealed 750 women in Kilkenny are waiting for a gynaecology outpatient appointment or are waiting on a further appointment after the initial referral.

The appointment of the new consultant still leaves just five consultant obstetrician/gynaecologists practicing at our local hospital.

One of the consultant gynaecologists has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place into non-consensual procedures.



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