Sligo University Hospital
The number of people waiting for beds in Irish hospitals averages more than 200 per day, according to figures released by the INMO today (Friday), while staffing numbers continue to be impacted by high numbers of healthcare worker infection rates.
According to the union, the number of people waiting for hospital beds in October was 4,499, more than nine times higher than in April, with some hospitals reporting hundreds of patients on trolleys in October, with Sligo University Hospital in the top five. It serves a large part of the south Donegal population including Bundoran and Ballyshannon.
The highest trolley figures in October were in:
University Hospital Limerick: 1,064
Cork University Hospital: 685
Mayo University Hospital: 359
Sligo University Hospital: 293
Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar: 287
The INMO stated they are in discussions at the Workplace Relations Commission regarding vacancies that must be filled within the UHL group if plans to increase bed capacity are to go ahead.
Noting that the HPSC reported earlier this year that over 32% of COVID-19 infections were among nurses, the union has called for plans to combat overcrowding, which allow for increased staffing in the context of high numbers of healthcare worker infections.
INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said
“We were told at the beginning of this pandemic that there would be a zero tolerance policy toward overcrowding across the health service, to ensure hospitals were safe. Unfortunately we’re now seeing an average of 200 patients per day without beds, and the figures are climbing.
“This is highly dangerous at the best of times, but this year we simply cannot afford to accept this level of risk, for patients or for staff. We are over a month into the winter period and we’re seeing 4,500 patients per month on trolleys. We’re very concerned about how this will play out for the rest of the winter. We desperately need safe staffing levels across the entire service this winter if we want to keep staff and patients safe.”
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