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MWRH Limerick At Breaking Point Again! 04.01.11

PRESS RELEASE, Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, which has been under severe pressure since the commencement of reconfiguration of acute services in April 2009, is presently experiencing gross overcrowding and huge strain on the provision of safe clinical care.

Today the hospital has in excess of 51 patients who are either on a hospital trolley in the emergency department or on a ward, or are placed on extra beds on a corridor.

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation have reported that over the Christmas period in-patients at the hospital had little access to diagnostic tests and procedures.  This has led to very few in-patient discharges and the consequent inability of the hospital to cope with the surge in activity since  December 26, 2010.

The INMO again requests the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to undertake an urgent review of the impact of the centralisation of all acute services into the MWRH Limerick without the required additional beds and processes to respond to the increased demands in activity. The INMO  members are now also demanding that all further plans to centralise services from February 2011 i.e. cardiology and acute medicine are suspended pending the outcome of this review.

Speaking this morning, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mary Fogarty said:

“Our members are repeatedly raising with us their concerns around the clinical safety of patients in such a chaotic and unresponsive environment. It is unacceptable that a regional centre of excellence shuts down over the Christmas period and is consequently unable to respond to a surge in demand in a safe and coordinated way.”

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