Cystic fibrosis campaigner urges charity not to compromise over beds

One of the country’s leading campaigners for improved cystic fibrosis services has urged a charity that raised funds for a Cork hospital not to hand over the money until beds are ringfenced for CF patients.

Cystic fibrosis campaigner urges charity not to compromise over beds

Orla Tinsley, who began campaigning almost a decade ago, has backed the decision of Build4Life not to hand over the €2.3m it raised to fund a new adult respiratory ward at Cork University Hospital without the guarantee of ringfenced beds.

Ms Tinsley, who has CF, said “priority access”, which the hospital is now offering to CF patients, was “not security”.

Build4Life fundraised on the understanding that eight to 10 beds would be protected for CF patients.

Tweeting yesterday about the row between the charity and CUH, Ms Tinsley said Joe Browne, founder of Build4Life, “shouldn’t compromise until the 10 beds are designated ringfenced. No compromise.”

She poured cold water on the suggestion by Cystic Fibrosis Ireland that an agreement between the interested parties, together with a good operational policy, would ensure CF patients had access at all times to appropriate beds.

She said despite the existence of such an agreement at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, CF patients were at times still unable to access a dedicated CF wing.

“It is not how it should be,” Ms Tinsley tweeted, adding that CF patients with life-threatening illnesses were “still being housed on the opposite side of campus to their actual unit and team”.

“Hoping this complicated mess will not happen to Cork,” Ms Tinsley said.

Attempts to resolve the row between Build4Life and CUH are continuing.

Yesterday Mr Browne met with HSE South regional director Gerry O’Dwyer and junior health minister Kathleen Lynch in an effort to break the impasse. Mr Browne described the talks as “constructive”.

In a statement, Build4Life said both parties had agreed to meet again next Friday “to continue discussions on what all hope will bring about a resolution”. Mr Browne had said ringfenced beds would have to form the basis for any meeting.

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