Nurses experiencing a lot of pressure: Demand for acute services in Cork 'through the roof'

Cork University Hospital is the second-worst hit facility in the country so far this year as 10,107 patients have found themselves on trolleys in the hospital in 2022.
Nurses experiencing a lot of pressure: Demand for acute services in Cork 'through the roof'

CUH was beaten only by University Hospital Limerick, where 15,322 patients have been left waiting on trolleys so far this year.

The INMO has warned that demand for acute services in Cork is “through the roof”, as over 100,000 patients have gone without a bed in Irish hospitals so far this year.

The INMO said this is the earliest the high number of 100,195 patients on trolleys has ever been recorded, as the organisation has been warning of “unprecedented overcrowding” in 2022 since early summer.

Cork University Hospital is the second-worst-hit facility in the country so far this year as 10,107 patients have found themselves on trolleys in the hospital in 2022.

CUH was beaten only by University Hospital Limerick, where 15,322 patients have been left waiting on trolleys so far this year.

Colm Porter, assistant director of Industrial Relations for the INMO in the Southern Region, said that as well as CUH being in the top five most overcrowded hospitals so far this year, the Mercy University Hospital has also been experiencing “unusually high” numbers.

“It’s obviously a worry, as we enter the depths of winter… as you can see from those numbers the demand on services in acute settings in Cork is through the roof,” he said.

Mr Porter said that there is a “severe amount of pressure” on nurses to provide quality patient care in such an overcrowded setting.

“We want to keep nurses in the system, but unfortunately the environment that they're working in at the minute is difficult,” he said, adding that many stressed nurses and midwives are “voting with their feet”.

“We are seeing younger people making the decision to emigrate, and also we have people who are near retirement, and this kind of the straw that broke the camel's back so they’re taking their retirements,” he said.

The INMO is calling for a four pronged approach to tackle overcrowding and the recruitment and retention crisis.

The trade union is calling for the cancellation of non-urgent elective care in public hospitals and use of private hospitals for this work, and prioritisation of funding for publicly delivered long term care in the community.

It is also demanding that retention measures be introduced, such as provision of accommodation for essential workers such as nurses and midwives particularly in rent pressure zones, and legislation be introduced to underpin the implementation of the safe staffing and skill mix framework.

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