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Intolerable Conditions For Patients And Staff In University Hospital Galway This Morning. 22.09.11

PRESS RELEASE, Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Conditions for patients and members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in the University Hospital, Galway this morning are intolerable.  There are 38 patients on trolleys in the Emergency Department awaiting admission to an in-patient ward.  8 of these have been waiting there for 3 days while a 78 year old patient has spent 4 nights on a trolley.  The hospital has now moved to full capacity protocol which means the placing of extra patients on already full wards throughout the hospital.

According to INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Regina Durcan:“The HSE is in breach of its own policy, by implementing the full capacity protocol, as all other options must be exhausted before this is invoked.” She said “Management have opened the Medical Assessment Unit as normal, an area which would frequently be used as an overflow for trolleys during peaks in activity, and no elective surgeries have been cancelled so far.”

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is calling for:

All closed beds to be opened.  
Currently there are 25 closed in UHG and 91 in Merlin Park Hospital. A further 35 beds in UHG are unavailable due to the reduction in continuing (long term) care beds and the cutbacks in community based services;

  • Extra staff to allow for safe care to all patients in the hospital;
  • HSE to manage all staff at the hospital effectively.

Regina concluded: “The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly must intervene in this crisis, with immediate effect.  Patients are suffering intolerable conditions and INMO members are at breaking point throughout the hospital.  They are endeavouring to provide the best care possible in dreadful conditions but cannot, and will not, condone what is happening in UHG at the moment.

This crisis will not be solved by hiding the problem with extra beds on wards, thus compromising the care of all patients.”



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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