The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has expressed its concern at bed capacity at Letterkenny University Hospital and labelling it as a “crisis situation.”
It followed yet another statement from hospital management today once again announcing full capacity protocol had been implemented.
Managment apologised to patients and their families for delays and urged people to only attend the Emergency Department in the case of a real emergency.
This afternoon the INMO said that the escalation policy at the hospital has been partially invoked almost continually over the past six weeks in order to deal with increasing bed demand and said that this policy is for use in exceptional circumstances as opposed to everyday use.
The union said that elective work continues at the hospital despite the increased attendances at the emergency department, but “nursing staff are seriously concerned regarding the health and safety of patients. This cannot continue.
“Nurses are fearful that patients are being put at risk on a daily basis while they strive to deliver basic care. There are wards in the hospital with insufficient nurses to deliver basic nursing care. This situation is now causing untold human suffering for patients. Nurses are regularly taken from an already short staffed ward to cover in other areas.”
The INMO is calling on the HSE “to implement its own escalation policy in response to this crisis situation; The immediate cancellation, for a number of days, of planned elective admissions/procedures, in order that the existing patients can be cared for in a safe, timely manner; and an independent review of the existing practices/processes at the hospital.”
The Industrial Relations Officer for the INMO Maura Hickey said “The problem cannot be solved by placing extra beds on in-patient wards. This is a tried, flawed and failed practice of the past which should never be revisited.”Tags: