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INO Survey Confirms 705 Beds Closed And A&E Overcrowding Continues. 05/10/09

PRESS RELEASE                                                                               

A survey, carried out by the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO), has confirmed that there are 705 beds closed, nationwide, due to budget cutbacks.  In addition, the survey has also confirmed that the level of overcrowding, in Emergency Departments across the country, has increased in September this year by 31 % compared to September 2007.

The attached tables detail the locations of the bed closures and the level of overcrowding nationally.

This number of bed closures and the level of A&E overcrowding, which sees increasing numbers of patients being left on trolleys because there are no beds, must be added to the fact that we now have over 900 beds, in acute hospitals across the country, occupied by patients who would be more appropriately cared for either at home or in a continuing care long term bed.  However such alternative, and more appropriate, care facilities are not available, again due to financial cutbacks.

The INO believes that this survey confirms the very negative impact upon frontline patient care as a direct result of budgetary cutbacks.

Speaking today, INO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“The extent of the bed closures, the impact of delayed discharges and the increasing level of A&E overcrowding when taken together, demonstrate the severity of the crisis already facing our health services.

When you add to this the impact of the Government embargo on staff recruitment, which saw almost 300 jobs (157 of which were nursing posts) lost in July alone, it is self-evident that it is frontline services, staff and patients, who are being hit by these cuts despite the denials of the HSE and the Department of Health and Children.

It is a sad but stark truth that the health service has never been less prepared to face the onslaught of winter, with all of the additional demands it brings, not to mention the challenge that will be faced by managing the Swine Flu pandemic.”

Mr Doran concluded: “Notwithstanding our very difficult financial situation the Government must prioritise the maintenance of frontline services and ensure that all available beds are open, frontline staff replaced and primary care services improved so that the sick in our society can access the quality of care they need and deserve.”


 Bed Closures Around the Country 05/10/09 

  INO Trolley Watch - Comparison Figures September (1st - 28th) 2007-2009




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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie