Nurses protest as up to 50 patients left on trolleys
More than 70 nurses staged a one-hour protest as they called on health chiefs to immediately stop putting patients on trolleys in crowded hospital corridors.
Outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), said there can be more than 50 admitted patients waiting on trolleys in the emergency department for a bed in the main hospital.
The union also warned a single nurse can be left looking after up to 15 pateints.
The INMO will ask the Health Service Executive (HSE) to employ more nurses and create more step-down beds when it meets with the HSE's assistant national director of acute hospitals Angela Fitzgerald tomorrow.
"No one is denying the extent of the problem. Even the HSE is acknowledging we have a bed problem, we have a staffing problem, we have a bed closure problem, we have a delayed discharge problem," said Liam Doran, general secretary of the INMO.
He said that the INMO has been counting the number of patients on trolleys every day for 10 years now and "the numbers daily are worse than 2007 when the then minister called the over-crowding a national emergency."
"They closed much of the beds in Dundalk and Navan and expected here to take up the slack and the people who suffered most are the patients and staff," he said.
The HSE said it is working with nurses to address the pressures in the emergency department, including recruiting 16 permanent nurses and creating 18 beds in a Clinical Decision Unit in November for patients who need ongoing monitoring.