The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has reiterated its calls for hospitals to take the decision to curtail all non-emergency activity and for greater measures to be taken to reduce workplace transmission of COVID-19 in our hospitals.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“The INMO is today repeating our call for non-emergency activity to be curtailed in our acute public hospital system.
“Our fragile health services are being held together at the moment by an exhausted nursing workforce who are experiencing high levels of burnout. Annual leave is being cancelled by many in order to fill rosters and many nurses are reporting that they are staying beyond their scheduled work hours to care for patients.
“Our public hospital system is too small to cope with servicing emergency care, COVID care and elective treatments. It is time for the State to step up and ensure that all capacity that can be gained from the private sector is used.
“The HSE and political system has a responsibility to an exhausted medical workforce to ensure their workplaces are as safe as they can be. There must be no tolerance for hospital overcrowding while a highly transmissible airborne virus is making its way around our hospitals. Improvements to air quality in our hospitals must be a priority.
“As we head into what is traditionally a chaotic time in our hospitals, the normal January patterns of overcrowding in our hospitals should not be tolerated. Our hospitals cannot operate on goodwill of staff alone, we need and urgent capacity plan from the HSE.”