The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has recorded its highest level of overcrowding in Irish hospitals for June since its records began in 2006.
A total of 608 patients were without a bed in hospitals nationally yesterday, and the INMO’s general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that autumn and winter will be ‘very bleak’ unless the issue is tackled head on.
She said that by allowing trolley numbers to continue to rise every passing day in summer, there is an acceptance that chronic overcrowding is going to be the key features of the health service this winter.
“Our emergency departments are pressure cookers at the moment,” said Phil Ní Sheaghdha.
“The fact that COVID cases have increased by over 333% in hospitals in the space of three weeks coupled with long wait times to be admitted is a disaster waiting to happen.”
She added that it is not normal that for fourth time this year we are seeing trolley numbers go over 6oo at the end of June.
“There are actions that the HSE can take in the short, medium and long term to tackle this crisis including the immediate cancellation of non-urgent elective care and the reintroduction of COVID testing when a patient presents at the ED.”
Ní Sheaghdha added that the Emergency Taskforce must immediately convene, and that the HSE and Minister for Health ‘cannot continue to ignore the importance of this body’ when it comes to tackling the root causes of the chaotic scenes we are seeing in emergency departments across the country.