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Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway in Crisis
Press Release - 09.11.16


- 52 patients awaiting an in-patient bed                                                                                                  

- Currently no room to see more new patients in the ED

- Less than 20 patients likely to be discharged today

The Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway is in crisis today according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).  There are currently 38 patients on trolleys awaiting an in-patient bed in and around the Emergency Department (ED) and 14 extra on already full wards.  Separately there are a further 25 patients in the department who have been waiting up to 8 hours to be assessed by an ED doctor due to the lack of cubicles to examine them. Trolleys are backed up on both sides of the corridor around the department which makes access, privacy and dignity impossible.  There are 4 nurses to look after 38 admitted patients in the ED. 

Some elective surgeries have been cancelled and it is anticipated that less than 20 patients are likely to be discharged today.  In addition, there are  a further 10 patients being  accommodated in the surgical day ward which means that day surgeries had to be cancelled.  The Fire Officer and the Health and Safety Authority have been contacted.

Speaking today, Anne Burke, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, said:

“Access to and egress from the department is completely compromised.  There is no room to physically assess any more  ED patients who may turn up at the hospital.

Meanwhile, there is a 75 bedded single occupancy Unit  ready to go at the hospital but no funding has been approved  by the HSE to staff this area.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny said in a statement recently that the hospital is ‘not fit for purpose’ but nothing has been done to alleviate the pressure.  Patients deserve safe care in proper beds, on a properly staffed ward, not on trolleys in public areas. Likewise our members deserve a safe place to work.  The conditions that our members are working in today are in complete breach of the Health and Safety Legislation.”

Ms Burke continued:

“The INMO understands that the Taoiseach is visiting Galway city tomorrow and extends an invitation to Mr Kenny to visit the ED Department and do a walkabout in the hospital to see, first-hand, the conditions both nurses and patients are experiencing.”


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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:0016640600 E:inmo@inmo.ie