Meaningful action needed to prevent winter crisis in hospitals

Galway Daily news UHG is the second most overcrowded hospital in Ireland today

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for meaningful and targeted interventions to prevent another winter of out of control overcrowding.

This comes as 596 patients are without a bed in Irish hospitals today, including over 20 children under the age of 16.

University Hospital Galway is the second most overcrowded in the State, with 57 people on trolleys this morning at 8am.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that over 1,710 patients have been without a bed so far this week and that these figures speak for themselves.

She said that we are facing into yet another ‘completely predictable winter crisis’ unless urgent action is taken.

“The number of children under the age of sixteen on trolleys has been steadily increasing this month, with over 91 young patients without a bed since the beginning of September,” said Phil Ní Sheaghdha.

“As the Dáil returns from its summer break today, the political system must intervene in the now predictable overcrowding which faces our members and their patients this winter.”

She called for the Minister for Health to publish a fully funded winter plan to coincide with the publication of Budget 2023.

“We cannot wait for this situation to get worse until we see meaningful and targeted interventions.

“Next Monday’s meeting of the Emergency Department Taskforce is extremely important. Practical solutions and measures that arise from this meeting must be implemented immediately in order to prevent this entirely predictable surge.

“Over the coming months, we cannot see any obstruction when it comes to recruitment and retention measures. Nursing and midwifery vacancies need to be filled so that patients get the care they need.

“Unless action is taken now to stem the worst of overcrowding, we will be sleepwalking into another winter of crisis for our members and their patients.”