The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), on behalf of its members working in University Hospital Limerick, condemns the gross overcrowding and the compromised ability of nurses to provide acceptable and safe care to all patients within the hospital. There is no doubt that the level of overcrowding today with 66 patients on trolleys and on extra beds on wards is unprecedented and is a serious crisis.
INMO members do not accept that management at the hospital are robustly managing all of the available bed capacity to meet the demands of emergency patients who are deemed to need admission. It is incumbent on the management team as an employer and in governing the hospital to ensure that the hospital is safe for staff and patients and this is not the case. This is increasingly worrying for our members as clinical care of patients is compromised and there are high levels of stress being experienced by nurses daily. In recent weeks nurses have left work in tears at the unmanageable workloads and are extremely concerned regarding the outcomes for patients and the professional practice of nurses.
Speaking today, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mary Fogarty said:
“Many initiatives have been put in place in other hospitals throughout the country where they have experienced gross overcrowding with some improvements. However, the last 6-12 months has seen a significant deterioration at University Hospital Limerick. Despite the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) proposals from February 2016 and, meeting locally with hospital management, the situation at the University Hospital Limerick has significantly deteriorated.”
The INMO has balloted nurses on all of the wards with 97% in favour of industrial action of which management have been notified. Our members have not yet activated the industrial action however a further meeting of members is arranged on Monday, November 14 where it is extremely likely that they will mandate the INMO to serve the HSE with immediate notice of industrial action.