Managers seek halt to elective surgeries in University Hospital Limerick

Managers seek halt to elective surgeries in University Hospital Limerick
File image

Nurse managers at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) will seek a halt to elective surgery next week, against a backdrop of almost 100 nursing vacancies.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said despite the high level of unfilled posts, less than half the nurses and midwives due to graduate shortly from the University of Limerick have been offered contracts.

Up to last Thursday, no contracts had been offered to the 83 nurses and midwives graduating, as reported in the Irish Examiner. Of the 83, just 55 nurses had interviewed for jobs at UHL and 28 at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.

Mary Fogarty, INMO spokesperson in the Midwest, said as of yesterday just 24 nurse graduates and 16 midwives had been offered contracts.

“That number won’t go far when you consider the level of vacancies,” Ms Fogarty said.

She said 16 nurses were due to leave the hospital in the next couple of weeks as last year’s graduates spread their wings. In addition, the hospital has been under daily pressure from high trolley figures, with Health Minister Simon Harris paying a surprise visit last Wednesday to see for himself the level of overcrowding.

UHL consistently tops the trolley count nationally. Ms Fogarty said nurse management at the hospital was in agreement with the union that the situation is now critical.

There is no disagreement about that. They are meeting with the executive [of the UL hospital group] next Wednesday and they will be looking for all elective surgery to cease and to re-assign nurses to priority areas in the hospital

Ms Fogarty said the hospital had suffered from historic understaffing and that when patients are moved out of an overcrowded emergency department (ED) onto wards, no additional resources in the form of extra nurses are provided on those wards.

The hospital has confirmed that there are currently 61.92 whole time equivalent (WTE) vacancies and 32.56 WTE temporary vacancies in nursing and midwifery grades across the UL Hospital Group.

A spokesperson confirmed the group has offered posts to “24.6 WTE graduate nurses and 16.0 WTE graduate midwives”.

The spokesperson said the group, along with other hospital groups and community health organisations, is authorised to retain nursing and midwifery graduates “within our current budget limits”.

“UL Hospitals Group has to comply with the current national recruitment controls, which require appointments to be approved nationally,” said the spokesperson.

Health Minister Mr Harris has repeatedly said that he wants every graduate nurse to be offered a job in the Irish health service.

Ms Fogarty said the INMO will be seeking a meeting with nurse management once they have met with the group executive next Wednesday. As well as UHL and the maternity hospital, the UL group includes Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, and St John’s Hospital Limerick.

More on this topic

Less than one in four nursing homes fully compliant in inspectionsLess than one in four nursing homes fully compliant in inspections

Hiqa received 12 complaints of sexual or physical abuse in nursing homes over past yearHiqa received 12 complaints of sexual or physical abuse in nursing homes over past year

Nursing home guidelines to clarify contract of careNursing home guidelines to clarify contract of care

Fire safety concerns at a number of nursing homesFire safety concerns at a number of nursing homes


More in this Section

Teenage victim of paedophile ring packed knife to confront sex offender over unwanted advances, court hearsTeenage victim of paedophile ring packed knife to confront sex offender over unwanted advances, court hears

Environmental group wins landmark case over large-scale peat extractionEnvironmental group wins landmark case over large-scale peat extraction

Quinn staff 'demand an end to this reign of terror' following attack on executive Quinn staff 'demand an end to this reign of terror' following attack on executive

Families moving back into their homes after Dublin flats fireFamilies moving back into their homes after Dublin flats fire


Lifestyle

Against popular wisdom and flying a plane made from bamboo, wire and bike handlebars, a Co Antrim woman blazed a sky trail for aviation and for the independence of women, writes Bette BrowneMagnificent Lilian Bland blazed a trail for independence of women in her plane of bamboo

The epic battle for the bridge at Arnhem, as depicted in the blockbuster 'A Bridge Too Far', saw the Allies aim to end the war by Christmas 1944, but failed as a huge airborne assault force failed to take the last bridge across the Rhine. In an extract from his latest book 'A Bloody Week', Dan Harvey tells the story of one of the hundreds of brave men from Ireland who gave their all to the Allied campaignThe bridge to war: Dan Harvey's new book looks at the Irish who went a bridge too far

More From The Irish Examiner