'Clear danger to patients and staff' - 'extreme overcrowding' continues as 760 people without beds
Patients face another day of trolley misery as overcrowding remains at a critical level, leaving 760 people waiting for a bed for the second morning in a row.
The toll of 760 patients on trolleys set a new record yesterday.
However, nurses and doctors have now clashed over whether operations for waiting list patients be cancelled to free up beds.
The doctors said cancer patients waiting for a number of time-critical procedures are among cancellations.
Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show the worst hit hospitals for patients on trolleys are;
- University Hospital Limerick – 75
- University Hospital Galway – 51
- Cork University Hospital – 47
- Letterkenny University Hospital - 47
- South Tipperary General Hospital – 44
The INMO has written to the Minister for Health calling for;
- A declaration of a major incident at the worst-affected hospitals;
- Immediate approval for all posts awaiting sign-off in nursing and midwifery across all acute hospitals;
- Cancellation of elective procedures in the worst-affected hospitals;
- An infection control plan;
- Closure to non-emergency admissions in worst-affected hospitals;
- Sourcing of additional beds in the private and voluntary sectors;
- An end to the recruitment ban
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “This extreme overcrowding presents a clear danger to patients and staff alike. It requires immediate political intervention to stabilise our hospitals.
However, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association warned non-emergency surgery did not mean non-essential.
Referring to the decision to cancel surgery in Cork University Hospital the doctors said: ”It is understood that vulnerable patients awaiting essential surgery will be impacted by the decision as timely access to planned procedures is critical.
"This includes cancer patients waiting for a number of time-critical procedures. “