Pressure is mounting in Sligo University Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital due to additional workloads and unfilled nursing and midwifery shifts, the INMO warns today (Friday).
Sligo and Letterkenny Hospitals have experienced exceptionally high demands since the onset of COVID-19, with members in both hospitals citing compromised care due to gaps in staffing and high demands on the service.
The union has raised very serious health and safety concerns of staff with management in both hospitals and is calling for the urgent recruitment of nurses and midwives across both hospitals to keep essential services running safely and the curtailment of all non-emergency care in the meantime.
INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Neal Donohue said:
“The Northwest is under serious pressure. Healthcare staff work as a team, but numbers are now severely depleted.
“Staff are running on empty. Relentless workloads, delays in recruitment, long Covid and pressures on rosters are inevitably leading to burnout.
“The INMO has raised these very serious health and safety concerns with management at both hospitals. Due to the lack of response from Sligo hospital we’ve had to report our concerns there to the Health and Safety Authority, and we are advising management at Letterkenny that a similar referral will be made.
“Our members now require senior HSE intervention. Retaining the current staff will become impossible if the situation is not improved. When workloads increase staffing levels are depleted which means services must be curtailed until staff are recruited. It is a legal requirement of the employer to protect the health and safety of their staff.
“When the professions of nursing and midwifery raise genuine health and safety concerns in the interest of protecting the public it must not be ignored.
“Our graduating nurses and midwives are desperately needed and working conditions must improve to keep them here. Urgent action from the HSE is needed now.”