The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation have called on the HSE to do everything necessary to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of nurses and midwives.
This comes as over 631 patients are without a bed in Irish hospitals today.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Our hospitals have never seen this level of activity at this time of year with high levels of overcrowding impacting care in hospitals large and small. Our fragile health service is being held together by an exhausted and burnt-out workforce. We know anecdotally that many rosters are depleted due to illness.
“Today over 631 people have been admitted to hospital but are on a trolley in our emergency departments or elsewhere in our hospitals coupled with 690 COVID patients in our hospitals. We know that our public health system is not equipped to deal with providing emergency care, COVID care and elective care at the same time. The HSE must outline both locally and nationally what resources they are utilising from the private sector from now until the end of February. The health service, both public and private, must work as one.
“Our members are working in situations that are extraordinarily dangerous. There is now a real concern that nurses cannot provide safe care when conditions are so difficult, and rosters so stretched.
“The HSE must do everything that is necessary to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of our nursing workforce at this challenging time.”