October 19, 2021

UHW overcrowding crisis: huge numbers expected to turn out for protest this week

A large protest is expected to take place at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) this Friday against conditions at the psychiatric unit.

The event has been organised by the Psychiatric Nurses Association, which has highlighted the chronic overcrowding and under-staffing at UHW.

Photos emerged last week appearing to show patients sleeping in makeshift beds and sleeping on floors.

Local patients support group, South East Patient Advocacy Group SEPAG, has described the conditions as “war-torn,” while several politicians have hit out at the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Health Services Executive (HSE).

A large crowd is expected to take part in Friday’s protest. All interested groups and memebers of the public have been invited to participate in the march..

PNA General Secretary Peter Hughes, as well as several full-time union officials, are also expected to attend the rally.

Meanwhile, the HSE has admitted the situation at the psychiatric unit at UHW is “not the way” they want to deliver services in Waterford and the South East.

The chief officer of HSE’s South East Community Health Care, Kate Killeen told WLRfm: “I do think it’s important to acknowledge and recognise the commitment of the staff who manage in this situation, often on an ongoing basis, who do all they can to ensure the provision of safe and quality services to patients,” she added.

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