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“Freefall” in hospital staffing: INMO Executive Council calls emergency meeting
Press release 7.1.21

Staffing levels in Ireland’s health service are “in freefall”, the INMO has warned today.

The nurses and midwives of the union’s elected Executive Council will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the crisis and receive updates from across the country.

The union pointed to staff rosters “decimated” by COVID absences, surging patient numbers, and a lack of childcare for frontline staff.

There were over 1,000 confirmed COVID cases in Ireland’s hospitals in the last 24 hours. Throughout the pandemic, 1 in 20 COVID cases has been a nurse or midwife.

INMO President and nurse, Karen McGowan, said:

“The staffing situation has reached dire levels in many hospitals. I am getting constant reports from colleagues across the country, speaking of wards closing, rosters unfilled, and services under pressure and unmanageable workloads.

“The INMO’s Executive Council need to now evaluate these demands on our members and the personal toll this is taking on them. The government do not seem to understand the severe staffing pressures happening at the moment.”

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:

“Staffing levels have been in freefall since Christmas. High COVID rates have decimated rosters, while driving up patient numbers. There are now over a thousand COVID-positive patients in our hospitals.

“Our members are highly skilled and totally dedicated, but they are also utterly exhausted and immediate supports must be provided to them.”


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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie