Worst hospital overcrowding since pandemic began - INMO
Ireland’s hospitals are more overcrowded than at any point over the last year, the INMO has warned.
376 admitted patients are going without beds across Ireland this morning – the highest figure since March 5th 2020.
The worst-hit hospitals include:
- University Hospital Limerick: 75
- Letterkenny University Hospital: 31
- Cork University Hospital: 30
- Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar: 24
- South Tipperary General Hospital: 23
The union warned that redeployment of staff was seeing day services closed or scaled back, which is putting extra pressure on emergency departments.
Frontline staff have said that infection control and social distancing is compromised when patients are on trolleys in corridors.
The INMO is calling for urgent national intervention in University Hospital Limerick in particular, along with a strategy to reduce the volume of staff being redeployed for vaccinations. The union advised enabling nursing and midwifery students to become paid vaccinators.
INMO President Karen Mc Gowan said:
“Although the levels of COVID are reducuing, the long-standing trolley crisis is again rearing its head.
“Our members are seriously concerned that we will swing from the COVID crisis back into an overcrowding crisis. They need to know that the HSE will not tolerate overcrowding and ensure that safe staffing levels are implemented.”
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“We have kept trolley figures suppressed for much of the pandemic, but we are slipping back into old bad habits. The HSE cannot allow trolley figures to rise and rise.
“Overcrowding is simply unsafe for patients – especially during a pandemic. It is placing intolerable pressure on an exhausted workforce, who are now working to provide mass vaccinations in addition to a COVID and non-COVID healthcare service.
“The HSE and HIQA need to rapidly intervene in the worst-hit sites, and anything that can be done to ensure key staff are not redeployed must be looked at.
“COVID could be a turning point for the Irish healthcare system. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past.”
A full list of trolley figures for each hospital recorded is here: inmo.ie/attachment.aspx?doc=5614