Gov .launches Be Winter Ready campaign which includes extra beds for rough sleepers


300 additional beds for rough sleepers will be made available this winter.

The Government has launched its ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign, which will include 217,000 tonnes of salt being made available for the country’s roads.

The campaign aims to ecourage peopler “to be prepared, to stay safe and where to find help if needed during winter”.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross said at the launch: “Hail showers are unpredictable and can lead to very difficult and dangerous road conditions, especially on higher speed roads like dual carriageways and motorways.

“You should try to be aware of weather warnings that indicate a risk of hail. Where there is a possibility of hail, you should drive at a reduced speed and be aware of the prevailing conditions.

“Driving in these conditions is particularly hazardous and it’s essential to slow down while avoiding heavy braking or sudden steering movements.”

However, the campaign does not include a plan for how to deal with increased hospital overcrowding this season.

Yesterday, there were 679 patients waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals, the highest figure of the year so far.

Today the figure stands at 649 patients.

The INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said Tuesday’s numbers were “simply obscene”.

She added: “Winter has not even started, and Irish hospitals are overwhelmed. Our members are faced with an inhumane working environment, while patients are put at ever-increasing risk.”

Tom McGuinness, from the HSE’s emergency planning team, has said they are working on a specific plan for managing overcrowding.

“There is a financial package to be made available to target specific elements within the area of health, that will alleviate some of the presssures,” said Mr McGuinness.

“These are areas like home care and home help packages that will allow the pressures within the accute hospital system to be addressed.”

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