Management should be castigated for failure to staff CF ward at CUH

We as a family appeal to Health Minister, Leo Varadkar to intervene in the delayed opening of the new cystic fibrosis/respiratory ward 5B in Cork University Hospital.

Management should be castigated for failure to staff CF ward at CUH

It is now time for hospital management, including CEO Tony McNamara, to be taken in hand by the department and firmly instructed on how to resolve this utterly disgraceful situation, one that after four years of planning should never have been allowed to happen.

Ward 5B, funded entirely by Build4life, an entirely voluntary cystic fibrosis charity run by family and friends of people with CF, is now completed — and yet the ward lies idle.

Every day that ward 5B remains shut is another day where cystic fibrosis in-patients in CUH are being put at unnecessary risk of infection — the biggest threat to health and life for a person with cf.

Cystic fibrosis does not take days off and so those living with the illness must work hard every day to do what most people never even think about, to breathe.

Oral antibiotics, nebulised antibiotics, nebulised medicine to thin mucus, nebulised medicine to make you cough up the mucus, intravenous antibiotics, enzyme tablets every time you eat, high dose vitamin tablets because you lack absorption, probiotics to help your gut with the battering it gets from the constant antibiotics, antacids to help you feel less nauseous, physiotherapy to clear mucus and strengthen your lungs, hospital stay after hospital stay, this is a glimpse.

People with CF work hard, all day, every day and they deserve to be treated in isolated specialist rooms as in 5B.

What they do not deserve is hospital management that allow a local charity to raise millions to build necessary facilities, only to find out after they are built that there have been no provisions made for staffing the ward.

Ward 5B is built, paid for and ready to go – that is Build4life’s end of the deal.

HSE management’s end of the deal was to staff this vital life-saving ward but they have failed and left hundreds of patients and their families down.

If hospital management can’t get this right after four years of planning then perhaps it is time that the Department of Health took over.

Kara & Hugh O’Callaghan

Parents to Leon, 3 years-old with cystic fibrosis.

The Miles

Clonakilty

Cork

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