Nurses and midwives working in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar have expressed serious concern about staffing levels at the hospital.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), the hospital is chronically short staffed and as a result, some shifts are not being covered and it is ‘entirely reliant' on agency staff.
It claimed that an average of 100 shifts are being covered on an ad hoc agency/overtime basis every week.
The INMO warned that the situation has deteriorated so much, nurses and midwives are now extremely concerned about the safety of patients and staff.
"This staffing crisis is real and requires immediate and focused attention. It is entirely unfair and unsafe to expect nurses and midwives to be able to practice safely, and to the standards set for them, in an environment where they are constantly working short," commented INMO industrial relations officer, Dean Flanagan.
He pointed out that employers are obliged to provide a safe place of work for their employees. However, at an emergency meeting last week, INMO members provided a number of examples which showed that this is not the case.
"Many members cited stress, burnout and decisions to leave their jobs at the meeting, which is simply not good enough. We are raising this within all levels of the hospital management structures - locally, group and nationally - with the HSE as an issue requiring immediate focused attention and will consult with members again shortly in relation to progress," Mr Flanagan said.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.