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Casualty crisis hits Beaumont as ops are axed


INMO protest Beaumont Hospital

INMO protest Beaumont Hospital

INMO protest Beaumont Hospital

five more patients have seen their day procedures postponed at Beaumont Hospital today because of overcrowding.

No scheduled general surgeries for today have been affected, but the crisis is under continuous review.

"All patients affected will be notified individually," a spokeswoman for the hospital told the Herald.

Nineteen day procedures have now been postponed at the hospital as part of the actions to reduce pressure on the emergency department.


Ten day patients' procedures were postponed yesterday, as were four general surgical cases covering a variety of conditions.

"The procedures will be rescheduled for after Christmas. However, the situation is being monitored on a daily basis with a view to accommodating these patients as soon as possible in the coming days," the hospital spokeswoman said.

"Beaumont has a significant number of nursing vacancies, currently over 50, including a number of vacancies in the emergency department.

"Despite extensive recruitment efforts at home and more recently in the UK, the take-up of these posts has been very slow.

"Beaumont is now working with other major hospitals to initiate a new overseas recruitment campaign to help meet our needs for nursing staff."

Beaumont's chief executive Liam Duffy said the demands on beds was high.

"We had recently an increase in the number of admissions through the emergency room which has caused pressure on other parts of the hospital," he said.

"We have 100 patients in the hospital who should be in nursing homes or availing of home care packages in the community, and that is obviously slowing down the flow of patients through the hospital.

"The result is there are patients delayed in the emergency room because there isn't access to beds in the hospital."

Health Minister Leo Varadkar believes the overcrowding situation at Beaumont should ease within a few days.

However, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has renewed its call for the increasing levels of overcrowding in emergency departments of hospitals to be declared a national emergency.

The call was made in the context of Beaumont Hospital asking patients to stay away because of chronic overcrowding, and "similar levels of chronic overcrowding continuing in other hospitals in Dublin".


INMO general secretary Liam Doran said the health service is facing the most significant overcrowding situation since the organisation began counting trolleys more than 10 years ago.

"To ensure patient safety, appropriate standards of care and manageable workloads for nursing staff and an emergency initiative are needed," he said.

Beaumont has reiterated its call to people to avoid visits to its emergency department unless absolutely necessary.