Commenting on the publication of three HIQA inspection reports, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said the HSE and Department of Health must heed warnings on insufficient nurse and midwife staffing.
Today’s HIQA reports are published while 605 patients are without a bed in Irish hospitals.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“We once again commend HIQA for their role in inspecting the current state of our hospitals. The INMO is firmly of the view that more unannounced inspections must take place.
“HIQA’s reports into University Hospital Kerry and Tallaght University Hospital paint a bleak picture of the realities of unsafe nurse staffing. In the case of both hospitals, unsafe nursing staff levels meant that medical assessment units had to close or operate at a reduced capacity. The situation in University Hospital Kerry is of particular concern to us and we have sought urgent meetings with hospital management on how safe staffing can be achieved.
“HIQA’s report into Cork University Maternity Hospital highlights the crisis in midwifery staffing that exists in many maternity units right across the country. It is not acceptable to our members that they are not in a position to provide one-to-one support for women in labour.
“Of the ten HIQA reports carried out in hospitals in the last eleven months, not one hospital has been found fully compliant when it comes to staffing. This is totally unacceptable but not a surprise to our union. The INMO has been long sounding the alarm on the very real human impact that unsafe staffing has on both nurses and the patients they are trying to provide care for.
“The HSE and Department of Health have been provided with substantial independent information from HIQA when it comes to the level of non and partial compliance on the ability of hospitals to organise and manage their workforce to achieve safe and reliable healthcare. These are not reports that should just sit on a shelf or in an inbox. They must be the catalyst for change when it comes to making safe staffing a reality.”