8 April 2021
By Mary Bermingham
A decision to close Mallow General Hospital’s Medical Assessment Unit will put patient safety at risk, the INMO has said today (Thursday).
Hospital staff were told this week that the unit would close for at least four weeks due to a lack of medical cover. The workers have been advised to take leave or be redeployed.
The hospital’s Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) is where the vast majority of patients are admitted to the hospital. It effectively acts as a gateway to the hospital.
Frontline nurses in Mallow warn that many patients will in practice have to divert to Cork city hospitals – which are over 40km away and already face significant overcrowding.
Cork University Hospital, for example, already had 32 patients on trolleys this morning.
INMO Industrial Relations Officer for the hospital, Liam Conway, said:
“This is a disastrous decision for north Cork. Patient safety is put at risk and staff are being treated unfairly.
“Throughout COVID, frontline staff have shown nothing but dedication to providing safe care. They are shocked at this decision, with serious concerns about patients being forced to travel far to Cork city for often urgent care.
“The manner in which staff were notified of the decision is simply unacceptable and has caused significant uncertainty and stress to all.
“The INMO has sought immediate talks with management to protect services. The South-South West Hospital Group need to intervene to keep this vital service open.”