Talks between INMO and HSE adjourned until Wednesday

Talks between INMO and HSE adjourned until Wednesday

Talks between the INMO and HSE on the high level of hospital overcrowding in Cork have been adjourned until Wednesday.

In a joint statement, the union and health authority say extra measures have now been put in place to improve bed capacity.

"Additional measures have now been agreed with the South/South West Hospital Group and put in place in order to improve bed capacity," the statement said. "Such measure include the cancellation of elective surgery, stopping non-emergency admissions and sourcing extra bed capacity from the public and private sectors.

"In the context of the current pressures facing the South /South West Hospital Group, all nursing posts that are sanctioned can be recruited and are proceeding."

A statement from the South /South West Hospital Group renewed their appeal that anyone suffering flu-like symptoms should go their local GP instead of the emergency department.

"The additional support arrangements being provided by Community Healthcare colleagues were also outlined," a spokesperson said.

"These include the provision of home care packages, transitional care beds, convalescent beds and long-term care beds for patients who no longer require acute medical care.

"The South /South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) is appealing once again to both adults and children who are experiencing any signs or symptoms of influenza to contact their local health provider (GP/ Caredoc/ Southdoc) in the first instance prior to attending the Emergency Department."

Earlier, the INMO said that Cork University Hospital and Mercy University Hospital are operating "beyond their limits".

They also said that they expect the situation at the hospitals to get worse next week after visitor restrictions were put in place at the hospitals due to the flu.

On Friday, there was a record 73 people waiting for beds at CUH, with the majority of those said to be elderly.

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