The INMO is “deeply disappointed” following a meeting with University Hospital Limerick management today, where they confirmed plans to close a 17-bed ward from tomorrow.
Ward 1A opened as additional hospital capacity in September 2017 to function as an acute short stay unit for medial patients.
At a meeting today, management asked nurses to “take a leap of faith” in their plans to reduce overcrowding in the hospital.
The meeting with management followed an INMO letter to thee CEO on 6th March to object to the loss of hospital capacity.
University Hospital Limerick is consistently the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland, with the INMO’s daily Trolley Watch showing that 11,400 patients were on trolleys, without beds, in the hospital in 2018.
INMO Industrial Relations Officer for Limerick, Mary Fogarty, said:
“This is a bad decision for patients and hospital staff alike. Limerick is already the most overcrowded hospital in the country. It simply does not make sense to close further beds when faced with this appalling problem.
“Closing beds will only worsen Limerick’s overcrowding crisis, with longer waits and more patients stuck on trolleys in public corridors.
“Our members are understandably sceptical when asked to take a ‘leap of faith’, given that previous management plans to cut overcrowding have not worked.
“Sadly, even our compromise proposals to close the beds on a phased basis were rejected by management.
“We have asked management for further engagement with the INMO over their next steps, to identify ways to improve systems in UHL before a new 60-bed block comes onstream.”