15 Aug 2022

Overcrowding at Waterford and Clonmel hospitals today

University Hospital Waterford has 33 patients and South Tipperary General Hospital 31 patients respectively on trolleys and the ward today (Wednesday), according to the latest trolley and ward watch figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

518 admitted patients are waiting for beds this morning, according to today’s INMO Trolley Watch. 357 are waiting in the emergency department, while 161 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

The worst-hit hospitals today are University Hospital Galway (57), Letterkenny University Hospital (46) and University Hospital Limerick (40)

The INMO welcomes the extra investment in Ireland’s public health service in Tuesday’s budget. But the organisation questions the inaction on the recruitment and retention crisis in nursing and midwifery.

The HSE has been unable to hire and retain sufficient nurses and midwives to run services, and have been forced to use expensive overseas recruiters and agency staff. Recruitment of overseas staff costs over €10,000 per person hired, and by July, agency nurses and midwives had already cost over €50m in 2018.

The INMO argues that this could be avoided with an across the board pay rise for nurses and midwives, but no provision has been made in this year’s budget.

“With over 500 patients waiting on trolleys, the health service is unable to cope. Years of under investment have taken their toll, so the extra funding is welcomed and much needed. We will seek to meet with the HSE to ensure that their service plan provides for additional nurses and midwives,” INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said.

“However, without a resolution to the recruitment and retention crisis, problems in the health service will continue.

“The HSE simply cannot hire enough on these pay levels and the exodus of Ireland’s highly trained nurses and midwives will continue.”

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