People on trolleys 'day in day out' in Cork hospitals says, INMO

Liam Conway, industrial relations officer with the INMO’s Cork office, warned that the pandemic had “exposed and exacerbated a lot of long-standing issues” contributing to overcrowding.
People on trolleys 'day in day out' in Cork hospitals says, INMO

INMO’s latest Trolley Watch reveals that 79 people were waiting on trolleys in Cork hospitals yesterday morning — 57 in CUH, 21 in the Mercy, and one person in Bantry General Hospital.

AN Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO) official has warned that it has been one of the “worst years of overcrowding” ever in Cork, as patients in the Mercy University Hospital and Cork University Hospital (CUH) have been “consistently on trolleys day in day out”.

INMO’s latest Trolley Watch reveals that 79 people were waiting on trolleys in Cork hospitals yesterday morning — 57 in CUH, 21 in the Mercy, and one person in Bantry General Hospital.

Liam Conway, industrial relations officer with the INMO’s Cork office, warned that the pandemic had “exposed and exacerbated a lot of long-standing issues” contributing to overcrowding.

“In Cork, it’s been one of the worst years of overcrowding. The old issues have come back but they’ve been exacerbated. Particularly with the Mercy and CUH, there have consistently been significant numbers on trolleys day in and day out,” he said.

His concerns are echoed by nurses across the country, as 300 INMO delegates gathered in Sligo for the opening of the nursing union’s annual conference.

The first in-person conference since 2019, delegates will debate over 40 motions across today and tomorrow, with “gross overcrowding” and cost of living flagged as two hot topics.

MOTION

A motion to be debated by the INMO regarding overcrowding calls for Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to immediately address the issue with additional acute bed capacity, and external governance oversight in locations where additional beds have not alleviated pressure on staff.

Mr Conway said another “major discussion” will be the increased cost of living and measures needed to offset that, such as pay increases. He said the pandemic bonus has also not yet been paid to members he represents, and called on hospitals in Cork and the southwest to ensure payment is made “without further delay”.

INMO president Karen McGowan said that nurses and their families “must not be left to ravages of inflation” and that the cost of living will be a “major issue” at the conference.

An emergency motion on the cost of living is due to be debated tomorrow, prior to the Mr Donnelly making an address.

If passed, the INMO will call on the Government to focus on the real erosion of the salaries of nurses by current rates of inflation, compared to the 1% pay adjustment due next October.

The executive council proposing the motion notes that the rising cost of fuel for commuting nurses is, by itself, enough to surpass the 1% pay increase due later this year. The motion also calls for Government to provide suitable accommodation for essential workers and zone for accommodation in future hospital builds, as well as to implement a nationwide rent freeze.

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