The INMO has stated today (Friday) that it welcomes the publication of the HIQA report on the UHL Emergency Department.
The “Report of the unannounced inspection of the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick against the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare”, was published today and laid out a number of critical issues in the hospital, and recommendations on how to resolve these problems.
The report focused on three key issues, namely staffing levels, capacity and patient flow, and respect, dignity and privacy for patients in the ED.
Among the issues highlighted, the report noted significant capacity issues with around 40% of patients in the emergency department being treated on trolleys. The report also highlighted serious staffing issues, with staffing levels described as “insufficient to meet the needs of people attending the department”, leading to a significant impact on safety and safe care.
The INMO has stated that overall, the report reflected their concerns on overcrowding in the hospital which has a significant impact on the retention of nurses in such unsafe workplaces despite the significant recruitment efforts of nurse managers.
The INMO also stated it welcomed the quality and workforce review mentioned in the report and that it would be seeking engagement on this over the coming weeks.
INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations Mary Fogarty stated:
“The report is a fair analysis of the situation our members are facing on the ground. However, it needs to be noted that when things are this bad it becomes harder to keep nurses in their jobs, which makes it harder to ensure safe staffing numbers.
“The report shows that nursing staff are doing everything they can in a desperate situation, but that it’s not possible to keep patients safe in these conditions.
“Our members have been drawing attention to these issues for years and we requested that HIQA investigate the situation in UHL and they welcome the publication of the report as a first step, but it’s important that it leads to action.
“It would be wrong to wait for a winter surge or the next healthcare emergency to act on this. The report’s recommendations must be implemented urgently or the crisis in the mid-west is only going to get worse.
"Decisions based on patient safety and staff safety must now be made. We will seek to engage urgently with the HSE on this."