The Irish Nurses and Midwives organisation is calling for urgent action today, as hospital overcrowding reaches its worst level since the pandemic began.
Letterkenny University Hospital was the second-worst affected hospital for overcrowding this morning, with 31 patients waiting on admission. The hospital is currently treating four Covid-19 patients.
There were 376 patients without beds across Ireland this morning – the highest figure since March 5th 2020.
The INMO warned that redeployment of staff was seeing day services closed or scaled back, which is putting extra pressure on emergency departments. Frontline staff have said that infection control and social distancing is compromised when patients are on trolleys in corridors.
The INMO is calling for urgent national intervention in University Hospital Limerick in particular, which had 75 patients on trolleys today, along with a strategy to reduce the volume of staff being redeployed for vaccinations. The union advised enabling nursing and midwifery students to become paid vaccinators.
INMO President Karen Mc Gowan said: “Although the levels of COVID are reducuing, the long-standing trolley crisis is again rearing its head.
“Our members are seriously concerned that we will swing from the COVID crisis back into an overcrowding crisis. They need to know that the HSE will not tolerate overcrowding and ensure that safe staffing levels are implemented.”