Persistent Hospital Overcrowding Impacting Patient Safety

On World Patient Safety Day, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for the HSE to come to this week’s Emergency Department Taskforce meeting with renewed and workable solutions to reducing overcrowding which in turn will have a positive impact on patient safety.
This comes as over 5,210 patients, including 100 children, have been without a bed in Irish hospitals since the beginning of September. 
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: 
“World Patient Safety Day allows us to reflect on the conditions our patients are being treated in. Irish nurses and midwives provide exemplary care but the conditions in which they are expected to carry out their practise are getting worse with each passing day with the number of patients on trolleys in wards right across hospitals increases.
“Nurses and midwives are facing into yet another winter where they are left in impossible and often dangerous care environments. We know that overcrowding of this nature has significant impacts on the long-term health outcomes of any patient that spends more than six hours on a trolley. 
“At tomorrow’s meeting of the Emergency Department Taskforce, the HSE and individual hospital groups must bring something new to the table to ensure that patient safety is enhanced over the coming months. Our members are reporting that significant overcrowding coupled with unmet recruitment and retention targets are making it impossible to provide safe care to those who need it most.
“Year-on-year we are having the same conversations about the very real impact hospital overcrowding is having on patient safety. Senior decision-makers must prioritise the de-escalation of overcrowded areas and remove these very real barriers to providing safe care to patients in our hospitals.”

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