The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has outlined concerns around staff and patient safety in University Hospital Limerick.
This comes as 118 patients are without a bed in the hospital this morning
The number of patients on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick today make up over 25.2 per cent of the total number of patients on trolleys across the country today (468 patients).
INMO assistant director of industrial relations Mary Fogarty said: “It feels like Groundhog Day for the staff, patients, and wider community of University Hospital Limerick today with 118 patients without a bed. So far in May we have seen over 1,728 patients without a bed in the hospital. This is not normal and should not be accepted as such.
“The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is very concerned about the safety of staff and patients in the hospital. A recent report of an inspection by the Health and Safety Authority of the Emergency Department in UHL reinforced that a fire safety report of the hospital stating that there should be no trolley parking in areas of the hospital. Staff are reporting that this is not being adhered to."
The INMO said the HSA safety report has been with HSE senior management since September 2021.
"We have had 7932 patients so far on trolleys in UHL since the beginning of January with little action from the HSE except the commissioning of an expert review into the hospital, which has yet to commence. This means very little to the nurses on the ground who are at the end of their tether."
Many patients waited over 14 hours to be admitted in UHL over the weekend, many over the age of 75 according to the IMO.
They are exhausted, overwhelmed and burnt out.
"The basic care needs of patients cannot be met in environments like this," Ms Fogarty added.
“INMO members in University Hospital Limerick are reporting significant work-related stress due to the persistent overcrowding and inability to provide appropriate care to all admitted patients. They are exhausted, overwhelmed and burnt out. As well as trying to deal with a completely unsafe environment they also are dealing with public dissatisfaction and impatience with the situation in the hospital. They also have serious concerns for the safety of patients and have advised management repeatedly of same.
"The HSE's Emergency Taskforce should be convened urgently to discuss the persistent overcrowding in UHL and emergency departments right across the country.
“The situation in UHL has been allowed to fester for far too long. We need to see real, meaningful short, medium, and long-term action. Patients, nurses, midwives, and the wider hospital community deserve so much better.”