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Letterkenny University Hospital in Crisis 31.05.17
Press Release

Letterkenny University Hospital in Crisis Due to Increased Bed Demand

46 patients waiting for beds today

Record 24 patients on trolleys, 14 in the Emergency Department, 10 on corridors, 4 in treatment rooms awaiting admission today

  • 11 overnight patients in the Acute Admissions Unit (AAU)
  • 7 escalation beds opened  
  • A total of 46 patients waiting for beds in an unsafe and unsatisfactory environment

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) wishes to highlight the deteriorating bed capacity problem at Letterkenny University Hospital. The escalation policy has been partially invoked almost continually over the past six weeks in order to deal with increasing bed demand. 

Elective work continues at the hospital despite the increased attendances at the Emergency Department (ED). This policy is for use in exceptional circumstances as opposed to everyday use. Nursing staff are seriously concerned regarding the health and safety of patients. This cannot continue. 

Nurses are fearful that patients are being put at risk on a daily basis while they strive to deliver basic care. There are wards in the hospital with insufficient nurses to deliver basic nursing care. This situation is now causing untold human suffering for patients. Nurses are regularly taken from an already short staffed ward to cover in other areas. 

The INMO is seeking:

•    For the HSE to implement its own escalation policy in response to this crisis situation; 

•    The immediate cancellation, for a number of days, of planned elective admissions/procedures, in order that the existing patients can be cared for in a safe, timely manner; and 

•    An independent review of the existing practices/processes at the hospital

Ms Maura Hickey, the Industrial Relations Officer for the INMO said “The problem cannot be solved by placing extra beds on in-patient wards.  This is a tried, flawed and failed practice of the past which should never be revisited.”


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