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ED Overcrowding Reaching Crisis Point in UCHG - 01.09.11

PRESS RELEASE, Thursday, September 1st, 2011

- 48 patients waiting on trolleys in the ED 
- 24 beds closed in UCHG, including 1 ICU bed

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, (INMO), is concerned and frustrated that the Emergency Department at University College Hospital, Galway (UCHG), is once again overcrowded with 48 patients waiting on trolleys for an in-patient bed this morning.

In addition to this, hospital management have moved trolleys into already full wards where patients do not have access to oxygen and other vital equipment. UCHG is chronically understaffed and there is no additional staff to care for these patients. There are 24 closed beds throughout the hospital, and approximately 60 beds closed in Merlin Park University Hospital, which has inevitably led to massive overcrowding and created unsafe conditions for patients. The INMO is calling for beds to be reopened and vacancies to be filled as a matter of urgency.

Speaking today, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Noreen Muldoon said:

“The recruitment moratorium is causing chaos in UCHG where there is a chronic shortage of frontline nursing staff. The Emergency Department is bursting at the seams and patients are left waiting for hours on end in an unsafe environment, some of them going into their third night on a trolley awaiting a bed. Moving patients on trolleys to wards is only hiding the problem and creating stress for patients and an unacceptable additional workload for the already overstretched nursing staff.

The INMO has been to the Labour Relations Commission in an effort to resolve staffing issues in the ED but as yet has not had a satisfactory outcome. This lack of nursing and support staff is unsustainable. The attendance figures at the ED are increasing constantly and the trolley figures from 2006 to 2011 have more than doubled so far this year. (Jan-Aug 2011: 3,930; Jan-Aug 2006: 1,190). Despite this fact, less staff are now allocated to the ED when in fact that figure should have doubled also.

We are calling for the recruitment moratorium to be lifted immediately to facilitate the replacement of frontline staff and for closed beds to be reopened in the interest of safety for both patients and staff alike.”

-end- 

 
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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