Nearly 11,000 people left without hospital beds in February

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have stated that 10,991 patients were forced to wait for hospital beds in February.

INMO have called on the HSE to outline the steps they are taking ahead of St. Patrick’s Day in order to decrease the amount of patients waiting for hospital beds on the busy bank holiday weekend.

The organisation found that hospitals are operating at over 100% occupancy, and that many patients are being treated in inappropriate and unsafe spaces due to the lack of beds. They have pointed to the current conditions of the public health system as reason for why they cannot provide care in a safe manner.

Worryingly so, INMO have also stated that many nurses and midwives have stated their intention to retire early or move abroad in search of better conditions, which could prove catastrophic for an already strained healthcare system.

INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha has claimed that morale among nurses and midwives is at an all-time low, and that the HSE’s hiring freeze has further exasperated the unsafe working conditions in hospitals. Ms. Ni Sheaghdha said that the only way to improve the situation is by making staffing a priority.

Some of the most overcrowded hospitals in Ireland this month were Unversity Hospital Limerick, Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Galway, St Vincent’s University Hospital, and Sligo University Hospital.

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