Abnormal now normal at Letterkenny University Hospital
Members of the INMO, working in the Emergency Department of Letterkenny University Hospital, are fearful for the people of Donegal as the abnormal has now been accepted by local management as normal with patients lying on trolleys in ED, treatment rooms and corridors as opposed to appropriate beds on wards with proper facilities.
On May 15 at 8.00am there were 29 patients awaiting a bed on a ward. 12 of these patients were in ED, 11 were in the AMAU, 2 in treatment rooms and the remaining on corridors. That same morning there were 14 other patients being processed at 8.00am.
The hospital did not implement the nationally agreed Full Capacity Protocol in its entirety. It continued with services, ignoring the severe pressures that ED nurses were experiencing. Unlike other acute hospitals, Letterkenny University Hospital did not get any additional nursing staff to care for admitted patients in ED. The situation has remained the same throughout this week. INMO members are very concerned for patients and are at breaking point. One member commented: “I will be looking for another job as you couldn’t keep this up, you would burn out”.
Speaking today, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Maura Hickey said:
“INMO members are highly experienced staff who are being subjected to relentless pressure on a daily basis. They feel unsupported and are struggling as the burden is falling on nursing staff who are forced to work in an intolerable environment. They are constantly apologising to patients for the inhumane conditions in which they endeavour to care for them.”
Ms Hickey went on:
“Additional nurses are needed to care for admitted patients in the unit and once again the INMO is calling for an independent review of Admitting and Discharging processes in the Hospital and referral pathways from the community”.