Limerick Senator says HSE must tackle neurology nurse shortage

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“WE MUST tackle the shortage of neurology nurse specialists throughout Ireland to ensure better patient outcomes”, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

The Limerick Senator, and former TD candidate for Limerick City, has had her say on the health service this week, from waiting lists, to shortages, to the management of these institutions

In the Seanad, Limerick Senator Maria Byrne raised the impact on patient care of the shortage of neurology clinical nurse specialists. She said: “There is need for an additional 100 neurology nurse specialists across Ireland which includes the need for eight extra nurses for the University Hospital Limerick, which is the Mid West regional centre for neurology.

“We must tackle this shortage urgently to achieve better patient outcomes. More neurology nurses will also ensure that patients get quicker access to outpatient appointments, thereby reducing waiting lists and ensuring that any deterioration in the patient’s health status can be mitigated. This will also ensure that additional hospital resources can be focused on those that need it.

Senator Byrne pointed out that UHL has regularly featured in the news due to long waiting lists and patients on trolleys, and believes that the additional nurses could alleviate these pressures in the hospital.

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She continued: “I raised my concerns on the shortage of neurology nurse specialists with Minister Anne Rabbitte, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, in the Seanad this week. I was pleased to hear that the Department of Health has recognised the importance of neurology services and the importance of adequate staff for patient-centred care in Limerick and across the country.

“The Government, along with the Department of Health, is fully committed to improving patient services and having patient-centred care in University Hospital Limerick and across the country. This is reflected in the unprecedented funding targeted across the health service in Budget 2022. In 2021, University Hospital Limerick sought and received approval of two additional consultant neurologist posts to address the deficits in the services, and I am pleased to hear that the interviews for the vacant posts are taking place later this month.

“The Government and the Department of Health is making this area a priority of Budget 2022 and I will continue working with Minister Anne Rabbitte and the Department of Health to ensure that the Government can tackle the current shortages of Neurology Nurse Specialists in University Hospital Limerick and throughout the country,” Senator Byrne concluded.