25 Sept 2022

INMO call for pause on non-emergency procedures to free capacity in private hospitals

INMO call for pause on non-emergency procedures to free capacity in private hospitals

INMO call for pause on non-emergency procedures to free capacity in private hospitals

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is calling for the "urgent" curtailing of non-emergency procedures to free capacity in private hospitals. 

The call comes as 428 admitted patients are waiting on beds in hospitals across Ireland today, according to the INMO Trolley Watch. 

The latest figures state 333 patients are waiting in the emergency department, while 95 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital. 

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, called the overall picture in Irish hospitals "a bleak one". 

She said, "COVID cases and hospitalisations are at a dangerous level and this is coupled with the number of patients on trolleys in many hospitals at pre-pandemic levels." 

University Hospital Limerick in particular was singled out as being "out of control".

The INMO is also calling for an independent review of overcrowding at the hospital, as well as direct ministerial intervention. 

INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Mary Fogarty, said, "Since the beginning of November, we have seen 891 patients on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick, with record overcrowding this week.  

"When our members sounded the alarm on persistently dangerous overcrowding coupled with COVID-19 back in July, we called for direct ministerial intervention, which Minister Donnelly at the time stated was not required. The situation in Limerick has worsened since we first made the call." 

According to Ms Ní Sheaghdha, members have been "fire-fighting on so many fronts" since January 2020.

She said, "The HSE and Minister for Health have both stated that overcrowding won’t be tolerated, yet here we are with 428 people on trolleys today. It is not acceptable when so many nurses are out on COVID related leave. The State must do everything we can to ensure that they are carrying out their duties in a safe environment."  

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