Sunday 26 January 2020

'Intolerable pressure placed on frontline staff and patients continues' - 621 people waiting for hospital bed

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Eilish O’Regan

The hospital trolley crisis slightly eased today but 621 patients were still waiting for a bed this morning.

The fall provided some small respite for hospitals after two days of record numbers when 760 patients languished on trolleys.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said today’s figures are higher than any day in January 2019.

It said that extra bed capacity sourced from the private and voluntary sector for the improvement on this week’s record highs.

The hospitals with the highest levels of overcrowding today include:

  • University Hospital Limerick – 63
  • University Hospital Galway – 46
  • Cork University Hospital – 43
  • South Tipperary General Hospital – 39

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “The intolerable pressure placed on frontline staff and patients continues.

“The trolley crisis is not a fact of life. There are simple, accepted solutions to fix it. We’ve made real progress in Beaumont and Drogheda hospitals, which were often the most overcrowded until recent years. This is down to planned additional recruitment and planned extra capacity. This model has to be adopted nationally.

“We need to keep moving to resolve this crisis. The INMO has proposed a five-point plan to alleviate pressure. All of these actions could be taken today or by the end of the week at the latest.

“We’re calling for a major incident declaration, all available capacity in the worst-hit hospitals directed to emergency cases, and immediate end to the recruitment freeze which is starving the health service of staff.

“Beyond this immediate crisis, it’s clear that we need to get to safe staffing levels. Irish trials of the Safe Staffing Framework show that it reduces costs, saves lives, reduces length of stay and improves patient and staff experience. But it needs up-front investment and for the recruitment pause to be scrapped.”

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News