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Tackling the shortage of neurology nurse specialists will mean better patient outcomes – Byrne

17th October 2021 - Senator Maria Byrne

We must tackle the shortage of neurology nurse specialists throughout Ireland to ensure better patient outcomes, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

In the Seanad this week, Limerick Senator Maria Byrne raised the impact on patient care of the shortage of neurology clinical nurse specialists.

Senator Byrne 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.

“University Hospital Limerick has regularly featured in the news due to long wating lists and patients on trolleys, and the additional nurses could really alleviate these pressures in the hospital.

“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 unpreceded funding targeted across the health service in Budget 2022. In 2021, University Hospital Limerick sought and received approval of 2 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.

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