Porters at Letterkenny University Hospital have spoken of their concerns over the lack of changing facilities and hygiene for them during the Covid-19 crisis.
Almost 60 people who make up the porter team have raised their issues with senior management in the hospital.
Their concerns include the lack of changing facilities as well as the tiny communal area they must share on breaks and shift changeovers.
The porters, both men and women, usually work 12-hour shifts on seven-day rotas.
A spokesperson for the group told Donegal Daily that they appreciated all frontline health were working in trying conditions.
However, he said that porters are genuinely concerned for their health because of the lack of basic conditions which they have been lobbying to improve for up to six years now.
He said “During Covid-19 we are expected to transport the suspected positive patients from the point of entry to the wards.
“However, at the end of our shifts, we are expected to change our contaminated uniforms either at home or in the public toilets as we have no changing rooms.
“We are all crammed into this tiny space and we don’t even have a basic hand-washing sink. We can’t even wash a dish.
“We are all very anxious about this situation and some of our members are terrified of catching the virus. Afterall from when a person comes into the hospital to when they leave, we are in constant contact with them”
The spokesperson added that they have been promised a new portering facility on a number of occasions but this has never materialised.
He added “We feel that we are an important part of the overall team at the hospital but are not always treated well. Now more than ever, our needs and concerns need to be listened to.”
A spokesperson for Saolta which looks after the running of the hospital said the HSE and the Department of Health are not providing information about individual activations of preparedness plans during Covid-19.Tags: