01 Dec 2021

Letterkenny University Hospital had highest number of patients on trolley beds for 2nd day running

Many INMO members don't see any future in nursing

Letterkenny Hospital had highest number of bed trolleys for 2nd day running

Letterkenny University Hospital PICTURE: GERALDINE DIVER

Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) had the highest number of patients in the country waiting on trolley beds yesterday, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

This was the second day running that numbers registered there were the highest in the country and that figure included 36 patients waiting on beds in the emergency ward and 22 in other wards. 

And this had led to INMO Industrial Relations Office for LUH, Neal Donohue to say that members were no longer seeing themselves having a future in nursing : 

“There is currently huge pressure on staff in Letterkenny who are struggling to keep patients safe and ensure their own safety at work. There is also deep unrest among nurses and midwives where the HSE are proposing derogation of healthcare workers who are close contacts, which staff feel will be counterproductive and dangerous.

“Members across the country are saying they don’t see a future for themselves in nursing anymore because of the conditions in hospitals. We are starting to lose qualified staff and the whole health service is going to suffer as a result. ”

58 admitted patients were waiting for beds at LUH, according to the daily INMO Trolley Watch on Thursday morning. The previous day it was 49 patients. 

LUH was  followed by University Hospital Limerick (45 patients) and the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore with  15 patients.

But the figure on the HSE's TrolleyGar system suggests that just 15 admitted patients were waiting on beds at LUH.

According to the HSE's TrolleyGar system, they say that 15 patients were waiting on beds at the hospital as of 8am yesterday morning and at least  one patient has been waiting on a bed for more than 24  hours.

The HSE say that the other patients being cared for at the hospital are located in "escalation spaces" - these are beds on wards, in the hospital. 

But the INMO dispute this. Regarding the difference between the INMO trolley figures and the TrolleyGAR figures, this is because, they say, the INMO counts patients waiting for beds in inappropriate locations throughout the hospital and the HSE’s count refers to patients waiting for beds in the Emergency Department only.

Meanwhile, Mr Donohoe added: 

“Overcrowding creates a huge risk in a Covid environment, and increased capacity in the hospitals and community is definitely needed, but there’s just nothing there to attract or keep staff at the moment.”



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