SIPTU has written on (Tuesday, 19th August) to the management of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co. Louth, to express the concern of its members at the number of patients on trolleys in the facility’s Accident and Emergency Department. SIPTU Organiser, John McCamley, said: “There has been an increase in the number of patients presenting themselves at the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department over the last number of weeks. This combined with a lack of beds in local community care facilities and staff shortages has led to concern among SIPTU members in the hospital that the situation poses a threat to patient safety”.He added: “SIPTU is calling on the management of the HSE to put in place emergency measures to deal with the problems within Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. These should include coordination with other HSE units in the region to make more beds available in the community sector in order to relieve the strain on the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.“SIPTU is also calling on the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, to lift restrictions on the recruitment of nursing staff and healthcare assistants, as well as provide the hospital with emergency funding to deal with the current crisis”.