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112 New Acute Beds for Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda is set to receive 112 new acute beds as part of a major expansion plan announced by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. The initiative aims to deliver a total of 3,352 new hospital beds across the healthcare system from 2025 to 2028.

The comprehensive plan includes 355 replacement beds and represents a significant effort to address the growing demands on Ireland’s healthcare services. Since the government took office in 2020, an additional 1,218 acute hospital beds have already been added.

This announcement comes as Irish hospitals report 552 patients currently waiting for beds. Minister Donnelly emphasized the importance of this expansion, stating:

“I am delighted to announce this landmark expansion of hospital beds across eight hospitals in the Dublin and North East region. This investment acknowledges the increasing demands of our growing and ageing population, and I am determined to ensure people have access to the right care in the right place at the right time.

“This ambitious plan will be delivered in phases, with significant additional capacity planned for Beaumont and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, alongside further increases across the region. These expansions aim to better meet the needs of the population in North Dublin, Cavan, Monaghan, and Louth areas.”

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), welcomed the announcement but highlighted the necessity of adequate staffing levels:

“The INMO welcomes the delivery of new beds, but this is entirely contingent on correct and safe staffing levels. Each acute medical/surgical bed requires a minimum of one additional nurse, with higher numbers needed for high dependency and intensive care unit beds. To achieve this increase, we must significantly expand undergraduate nursing and midwifery places and introduce retention measures to ensure staff remain in the system.

“With today’s announcement, it is clear that the HSE’s recruitment embargo for nursing and midwifery grades must be lifted immediately. Announcing additional beds without a workforce plan in place is pointless. The HSE and Department of Health have yet to publish the funded workforce plan for 2024, and we are already midway through the year. This approach undermines confidence in the HSE’s ability to deliver these additional beds.”

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