Trolley numbers down 8% but A&Es under pressure - INMO

Nurses at St Vincent’s Hospital stage lunchtime protest at understaffing

 File photograph of Liam Doran INMO with nurses from St Vincent’s Hospital holding a  protest.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

File photograph of Liam Doran INMO with nurses from St Vincent’s Hospital holding a protest. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

The number of patients on trolleys fell 8 per cent last month over the same month last year but emergency departments remain under unsustainable pressure, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

An analysis by the union reveals a mixed picture, with some hospitals showing improvements and others suffering a sharp rise in trolley numbers.

INMO nurses at St Vincent’s Hospital, where trolley numbers have soared over the past year, are staging another lunchtime protest over staffing and other issues.

The union says it has repeatedly raised concerns with hospital management over nursing post vacancies, the shortage of nurses in the ED and ward areas, and the continued practice of admitting additional patients to wards despite unsafe levels of staffing.

It claims management have refused its demands for a publicly declared state of emergency within the hospital and an independent review of staffing.

INMO industrial relations officer Philip McAnenly called on the hospital to immediately curtail services to a safe level and to refer patients to St Colmcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown and St Michael’s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.

He said Wednesday’s protest represented the start of a campaign to ensure management responded to the urgent concerns of patients and staff.

The INMO analysis found there were 8,885 admitted patients on trolleys last month, compared to 9,657 in the same month in 2015. Trolley numbers fell significantly in Letterkenny, Connolly, Wexford, Beaumont and Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda hospitals.

However, they grew in St Vincent’s, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny and Tullamore.