The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for the Government and HSE to publish the long-awaited winter plan for the health service.
This comes as 2305 patients were on trolleys during the first week in November. The highest since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“This week we have seen a new pandemic record of 2305 patients on trolleys. Unless urgent action is taken we are going to see record-breaking numbers in our hospitals every week.
“It is now the first week of November and we have still yet to see a comprehensive winter plan from the Minister for Health and the HSE. This delay in publishing a fully funded solution to the overcrowding crisis that exists in our hospitals is unacceptable.
“Our staff in our hospitals are exhausted, they are dealing with rising trolley numbers coupled with rising COVID-related hospitalisations.
“We need funding to implement the Safe-Staffing Framework, which determines the safe levels of nurse-to-patient ratio. Just like we have a pupil-teacher ratio that advises on the optimum number of children in a classroom to one teacher. We are hearing examples in our hospitals of one nurse to fifteen patients in a ward. This is not a safe environment for the nurse or patients.
“The Government and HSE need to urgently outline how they plan to curb the levels of overcrowding in our hospitals to ensure the safety of healthcare workers and patients.”