The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation say their members are struggling to cope, with more than 3,000 patients recorded on hospital trolleys in the past week.
They recorded over 600 patients on trolleys, in hospitals around the country, every day this week. There have now been fourteen days, so far this year, that has seen in excess of 600 patients on trolleys, as compared to 2017, when this occurred on only three occasions for the entire year.
The INMO today renewed its call for a two week period in March to be declared, and treated, as an emergency period in the Irish public health service, meaning that extraordinary measures should have been put in place to focus on recovering from the extreme weather event.
University Hospital Waterford said yesterday that it was continuing to experience extraordinary demand on it’s Emergency Department and encouraged people to make full use of the GP and Primary Care Services.
“University Hospital Waterford is experiencing extraordinary demand today (9th March) on its Emergency Department services and is addressing the emergency needs presenting to the best of its ability. The concern of the hospital is that it continues to meet these demands in the safest and fastest way possible.
“To ensure that the Emergency Department service is fully available to those most in need of emergency medical care, University Hospital Waterford is asking the public to make full use of GP and Primary Care services so that ED services are retained for those most in need.”
INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha says emergency measures need to be implemented immediately – to allow hospitals to recover before the bank holiday.
“The numbers this week have been extraordinarily high as predicted, the HSE predicted it last week, as did we. The difference between us was that we sought emergency measures be put in place to relieve the pressure on staff trying to provide the best care possible in the ED Departments. As far as we’re concerned that didn’t happen and the numbers are now out of control.”