Elective surgeries at Cork University Hospital (CUH) and the Mercy University Hospital will continue to be delayed and cancelled amid "intolerable pressure" faced by staff and patients due to significant overcrowding.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) met with CUH senior management and the South/Southwest Hospitals group today.
Following their initial meeting on Sunday evening, elective surgeries at CUH and the Mercy Hospitals were initially cancelled.
After today’s meeting, Liam Conway, Industrial Relations Officer for the INMO in Cork, told The Echo that those measures would continue and would be reviewed on a day to day basis.
“They’re still going to continue with the cancelling of elective (surgeries) because of the amount of delayed discharges and the amount of presentations is still high.
“They’re going to review it day-by-day. The clinicians are making that decision locally with management,” Liam Conway said.
“There are a number of measures we’ve agreed locally with management to assist in the issues that are in the Emergency Department. Local management have confirmed that they have purchased additional private beds to assist with discharges, and that’s why the trolley numbers dropped slightly,” he added.
The number of patients on trolleys decreased from a record high of 760 on Monday and Tuesday, to 621 on Wednesday. However, that figure is still higher than on any day in January 2019.
There were 43 patients on trolleys at CUH, while 16 were on trolleys at the Mercy. Meanwhile, six patients were on trolleys at Bantry General.
The INMO has proposed a number of actions for the HSE to alleviate the pressure on overcrowded hospitals including a major incident to be declared at worst-hit hospitals, as well as the sourcing of additional bed capacity in private, voluntary and community sectors.
The refocusing of hospital capacity to deal with emergency admissions and confirmation of previously agreed funding for the 2020 rollout of the Safe Staffing Framework have also been sought by the INMO.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “The intolerable pressure placed on frontline staff and patients continues. The trolley crisis is not a fact of life. There are simple, accepted solutions to fix it."