I had my Avastin infusion this morning in a Cork Hospital. The staff there are totally overworked. If someone is out sick or on leave, there is no trained experienced CNS to step in and do bloods and infusions, There is a replacement nurse but she is limited to blood pressure checks etc and general duties. This means that if someone gets a reaction to the treatment which we know can happen,t hey need immediate care which of course they get, infusion is stopped and doctor on call is brought in to assess the patient. However this has a rebound effect, the queues get longer outside in the waiting area because the nurses available are caring for the patient who falls ill in addition to changing infusions for other patients in the oncology ward. All this is undertaken with kindness and a smile. There is a huge need for the staffing level to be increased. I would be honest in saying the staff in my hospital are caring and considerate and work well as a team. They work extremely hard and through their lunch break. I remember a few years back if some one was out, there would be relief nurses from another hospital obviously the HSE has ceased this practice. I cant praise the oncology nurses enough, they are just fantastic doing a very responsible job under dire conditions, Sorry about the rant but the HSE badly needs to get its act together for the most vunerable of people and start wanting to keep their staff,

7 Replies

  • Totally agree with you Suzuki. Happens here in Dublin too. The nurses are so brilliant it is a shame to see them so over worked.

  • Hi Suzuki, I know exactly what you mean about staff shortages and no one to cover if a nurse is off. It is only going to get worse over the summer with staff holidays etc. The oncology nurses are Angels because no matter what is thrown at them they just get on with it and keep smiling. Kittie

  • I agree totally with you Suzuki.Cannot fault the nursing staff,they are brilliant and rushed off their feet.I've seen the pressure they are under when someone is out sick and as you so rightly said,it has a rebound for the patients.I have Avastin every 3 wks in south side hospital and the parking alone is a joke plus the cost of parking! Isn't it great to have an aul rant! Lol, x x

  • Well in CUH Parking is free for RT patients as long as you get a sticker from Reception. Surely the same should apply to Chemotheraphy patients in any hospital, that is if you can get parking. I suppose a rant is good because it helps us to make the situation come out in the open. However you cannot go to the HSE site to compliment the staff under such stress because it is percieved as a complaint. I have previously emailed Leo V and Dara Murphy a local Minister here in Cork re staff shortages and the answer is that they are trying to recruit more staff. Certainly I dont see any additions so the recruitment plan is a failure.

  • Hi Suzuki,

    Only seeing your message now for some reason. I was in the oncology unit the same morning and was horrified at the backlog that built up so quickly. I wonder how those on duty stayed sane. I have decided to write to the CEO of the hospital to praise the oncology team and begging them to upskill others to cover for illness and holidays. they cannot continue to work under such pressure. Maybe I'll send it off today.


  • That is a great idea, because I was thinking of HSE Website but felt it may be regarded as a complaint against staff which isnt the case. I may well do the same

  • HI Cathanne, I actually found a way to contact the CEO so followed that and have asked him to increase the number of trained staff in the oncology unit explaining what can happen if someone is unfortunately enough to get ill, while praising their hard work and team effort under duress etc. It will be interesting to see if I get an answer and you as well

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