Nursing union cites 2019 as worst-ever for hospital overcrowding; Emergency meeting this afternoon on Cork hospitals

Nursing union cites  2019 as worst-ever for hospital overcrowding;  Emergency meeting this afternoon on Cork hospitals

- Additional reporting by Olivia Kelleher

Updated: Nursing Unions have cited 2019 as the worst ever for hospital overcrowding as they prepare for an emergency meeting with the HSE in Cork, as overcrowding reaches crisis levels at the city's two biggest hospitals.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says conditions at Cork University Hospital and the Mercy Hospital are 'appalling' as they battle flu and staff shortages.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha says the HSE has confirmed it will meet with officials at 3pm to try and find real solutions.

"We know the situation will get worse but it is our view that we have to put emergency measures into place to enusre everythng that can be done will be done."

The INMO says that recruitment issues have left staff dealing with appalling conditions at CUH and the MUH. Ms Ni Sheaghdha says that emergency measures are badly needed to solve the crisis.

"They have agreed to meet us and we will be looking for real measures that removes all barriers for recruitment. For example in Cork University Hospital they had a ludicrous situation where they had interviewed nurses for jobs. They didn't get national release to issue contracts until the 20th of December despite these offers being available from early October."

Sinn Fein says the Health Minister could have dealt with the flu situation better.

Deputy Louise O'Reilly says Simon Harris should have opened extra beds to ensure that the capacity was there.

"What we really need is an urgent need for capacity within the health service.

"The minister has known about this for a very long time. This has been a daily occurence really ... the capacity crisis is ongoing"

Nursing union cites  2019 as worst-ever for hospital overcrowding;  Emergency meeting this afternoon on Cork hospitals

Meanwhile, 118,367 patients went without hospital beds in 2019, according to end-of-year analysis by the INMO released earlier this week.

This confirms 2019 as the worst-ever year for hospital overcrowding since records began - 9% higher than 2018.

Over 1,300 of the patients were children younger than 16. The worst months for overcrowding in 2019 were November (12,055), October (11,452), and September (10,641).

The INMO points to understaffing and a lack of capacity as key drivers of overcrowding. There are 411 fewer inpatient beds in Ireland’s hospitals today than a decade ago, despite a larger, older population.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha says things are getting worse, not better.

"These figures should be falling, but we’re going the wrong direction. 2019 saw thousands more patients without proper beds – often at one of the most vulnerable points in their lives."

More on this topic

Three Irish hospitals have at least 50 patients on trolleysThree Irish hospitals have at least 50 patients on trolleys

530 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals530 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals

Over 500 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals for third day in a row Over 500 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals for third day in a row

Number of patients of trolleys up 50 since yesterday as crisis continuesNumber of patients of trolleys up 50 since yesterday as crisis continues


More in this Section

Man who left former partner unconscious in pool of blood after beating during safety order breach gets three yearsMan who left former partner unconscious in pool of blood after beating during safety order breach gets three years

Election 2020: How do I register to vote?Election 2020: How do I register to vote?

Family of pregnant woman kept alive over Eighth Amendment worries seek €3.3m damages over her deathFamily of pregnant woman kept alive over Eighth Amendment worries seek €3.3m damages over her death

Waterford Cllrs agree to self-regulate their social media accounts Waterford Cllrs agree to self-regulate their social media accounts


Lifestyle

Hannah Stephenson has advice on how to care for your garden when wet weather strikesHow to prevent and deal with waterlogging in the garden

If you're down in the epidermal dumps, exfoliation, hydration and decongesting is what you need.The Skin Nerd: How to prep and pep that played-out January skin

The Winter Show, which gets underway in New York this Friday, is a celebration of world cultures, from antiquity to the present.Time travellers are packing their suitcases for New York this week

“Finish him!” It’s one of the most famous lines in video games – in fact, they pretty much built the entire series around it. Mortal Kombat is notorious for brutal finishing moves, in which the characters kill off their opponents in horrific (and often humourous) fashion.Game Tech: Mortal line lives on in the cinema

More From The Irish Examiner