September 17, 2019
News

Kilkenny maternity crisis: 12 vacant midwife positions at St Luke’s Hospital

By COLIN BARTLEY

THE pressure on the maternity unit at St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny is at breaking point amid another staffing crisis.

As many as 12 midwife positions at St Luke’s are currently unfilled, according to figures obtained from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

And the staffing problem at St Luke’s is not confined to the maternity unit. At present, there are 32 general nursing positions unfilled at the hospital.

These near 50 vacant nursing positions are adding to the pressure on the hospital.

Earlier this week, St Luke’s recorded the fourth-highest figure of all hospitals in Ireland in the INMO’s ‘Trolley Watch’ – a daily report on how many patients are in a hospital waiting for treatment but cannot be provided a bed.

The mounting staffing crisis follows the publication of figures last week which revealed 750 women in Kilkenny are waiting for a gynaecology outpatient appointment or are waiting on a further appointment after the initial referral.

One of St Luke’s five consultant gynaecologists has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place into the non-consensual procedures. Earlier this summer the Health Service Executive advertised a position for a new consultant gynaecologist in St Luke’s.

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