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November overcrowding at St Luke’s General Hospital has never been worse

The INMO says overcrowding levels are dangerous for staff and patients

The overcrowding at St Luke’s was as bad as it’s been for any November on record.

Stats from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show that nationally it was the worst November since they started keeping records.

The numbers left waiting on trolleys at the general hospital for Carlow and Kilkenny were down to 13 today (Wednesday) – from 20 yesterday (Tuesday), and 30 on Monday.

But the local total for November was 457 which was matched in 2019 but more than sixty higher than the next nearest figure.

Over 12,600 people have been without beds in hospitals across the country this month, including 563 children.

The INMO says this is dangerous for both staff and patients, and is calling for more recruitment, retention and accommodation of hospital staff.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:

“We have seen yet another chaotic month in Irish hospitals, we have only had two days this month where there has been less than 500 people admitted to hospital without an inpatient bed. For the first time we have had over 563 children admitted without a bed in our hospitals. This cannot continue.

“The children’s hospitals are experiencing severe staffing shortages with up to 45% staffing deficits in some sites, and long-standing vacancies in nurse manager roles. This is reflected in very high numbers of children waiting on trolleys across the CHI sites, accompanied by relatives in very cramped and overcrowded spaces.  It is now commonplace that up to 40 sick children a day have to wait for a bed, while nurses in the hospitals struggle to provide safe care.

“This is not only dangerous for staff and for patients it is simply no way to safely treat sick children who are admitted to hospital. It also places a further burden on families who have to experience long waits while accompanying a sick child, potentially overnight.

“It is now absolutely vital that management and the HSE focus on recruitment, retention, accommodation and capacity at these sites as a matter of urgency, so we can put an end to the disgraceful scenes we’re currently seeing in the children’s hospitals.

“We know that we are seeing acute problems with hospital overcrowding in the Midwest and along the Western seaboard. Our members expect the HSE and the Government to treat this issue as the emergency it is and meet with the INMO to address the issues we have raised as immediately necessary to maintain safe care this winter. We do not want to be put in a position where care is compromised due to inaction from Government and the HSE.

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