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INMO Fearful That Services Will Be Curtailed In Portlaoise And Mullingar Hospitals At A Time Of Crisis In The Health Service. 07.01.11


PRESS RELEASE, Friday, January 7th, 2011

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and its members are becoming increasingly fearful that the HSE is secretly planning to curtail emergency services in Portlaoise and Mullingar Hospitals. Their fear, at a time of national crisis in the delivery of accident and emergency services, is that HSE will reduce those A&E Departments from a 24 hour service to 12 hour with 8am – 8pm opening hours.  This would mean transferring all night time emergency cases to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore, possibly with effect from next week.   If such change comes into play, it will mean that many seriously ill patients will be poured into an already severely overcrowded Emergency Department in Tullamore. 

There were 38 admitted patients awaiting beds in the region’s three hospitals yesterday morning and 127 inpatient beds are closed in those same hospitals due to cutbacks in staffing. The number of patients lying on trolleys nationally awaiting admission on Wednesday last reached a record high of 569. 

Speaking this morning, Lorraine Monaghan, INMO Industrial Relations Officer said:

“We are extremely concerned to hear such reports when the Midland Hospitals are already struggling to deal with the current A&E crisis.  To curtail the level of service in either hospital would have major consequences for Tullamore which is currently bursting at the seams.”

She continued:  “We call on the HSE to immediately come out from hiding and declare their plans for the Midland Hospitals”.

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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