Concern on hospital overcrowding

  • Niall Hunter, Editor

The nurses and midwives union have called for the health safety body HIQA to carry out an urgent review of services at Limerick Regional Hospital, following reports of severe overcrowding there.

The INMO said patient care is being severely compromised at the Limerick hospital, with 45 emergency patients awaiting access to a hospital bed this morning.

The union said 24 of these patients were in the emergency department, 10 in a transit lounge and 11 behind doors or on corridors of already full wards.

The INMO said that 135 beds needed for Limerick Regional following the reconfiguration of services in the mid-west region from Ennis and Nenagh hospitals had not been provided.

The union said hospital staff and patients have been left to cope with chaos every day and an inability to give a quality and safe service.

"The overcrowding, shortage of nursing staff and the unsafe clinical environment are a major cause of concern to INMO members at the hospital," the INMO said.

It added that proposals by the HSE to close up to 50 further beds at Limerick Regional next week will cause total collapse of acute hospital services in the region.

Meanwhile, consultants at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan, Co Meath have said there is now no major emergency plan in place at the hospital and thatt current arrangements at its emergency department are “unsafe for patient care”.

The HSE ended acute and emergency surgery at the hospital last week, claiming its decision was based on expert external clinical advice.

However the HSE has so far not revealed the nature of this advice or the data it was based on.

The review which led to the Navan decision was carried out by a group comprising Dr Doiminic O'Brannagain, Clinical Director, Louth/Meath Hospitals; Dr Colm Quigley, adviser to the north-east transformation programme and physician at Wexford Hospital;  Mr Ken Mealy, surgeon at Wexford Hospital, and Mr Arnold Hill, surgeon at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Professor of Surgery at the College of Surgeons, and adviser to the Cancer Control Programme.

 

 

 


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