Recruitment has begun to hire the additional staff required to open eight new beds in Dingle’s West Kerry Community Hospital and six in Kenmare Community Hospital. The HSE confirmed the details to Kerry Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin in response to a parliamentary question asking the Minister for Health to clarify the status of the new beds. The HSE confirmed to Deputy Griffin that discussions between union representatives, management and staff had taken place with regards recruitment at both Dingle’s West Kerry Community Hospital and the Kenmare Community Nursing Unit. The HSE confirmed that beds and furniture have been purchased for the West Kerry Community Hospital. The beds cannot be occupied until they have been registered by the Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA). The HSE has applied to HIQA for ‘varying of conditions’ to include these eight beds and is awaiting an inspection date to register these beds. The six additional beds in Kenmare Community Nursing Unit are located upstairs in a furnished, unoccupied ward and has recently been inspected by HIQA. The HSE is awaiting confirmation of registration from HIQA and is working with staff representative bodies to agree on appropriate staffing. A further meeting with staff and staff representative bodies is imminent according to the HSE.