Locum cover not fully in place on Inishturk leaving residents vulnerable

Fianna Fáil deputy for Mayo, Lisa Chambers has said she is deeply concerned at the lack of locum cover on the Island of Inishturk leaving people extremely vulnerable in a medical situation

“I have been contacted by concerned residents over insufficient locum cover on the island. Often the island is left without a nurse or any medical practitioner for days at a time with many of the residents being elderly. The Island has a full time nurse resident on the island and they have been told by the HSE they will have 24/7 nurse cover. The system in place currently sees the local nurse work four weeks on and one week off. The roster has been provided to the HSE showing the weeks the resident nurse will be off up until the end of this year. A locum nurse is supposed to attend on the island to cover the week off which has been promised but this is not happening.” says Chambers

“I understand there have been difficulties in finding cover which has resulted in there being no nurse in place at times. Obviously this leave residents on the Island in a particularly vulnerable position. They are frustrated as they were contacted earlier in the year to say a full time nurse, including locum cover would be in place. We know that there was a period from last November up until March of this year that there was no nurse as the resident nurse at that time had retired. Residents we delighted when a new nurse took up the post in March of this year but feel very let down that the service is not 24/7 as promised.” continues Chambers

“We often take for granted being able to go to our local GP and have access to Mayo General. On the island there are times when the boat cannot travel and residents cannot get off the island, it is during those times when a resident nurse is vitally important. Also for expectant mothers it is extremely important to have access to medical assistance during the pregnancy and travel to the mainland may not always be possible.” says Chambers

“I am asking the HSE and director of nursing at Mayo General to rectify the issue with regards to locum cover on Inishturk and ensure 24/7 is place.” says Chambers