HSE urged to seek cross border help as LUH overcrowding worsens

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The HSE is being urged to seek cross-border help to ease the overcrowding crisis at Letterkenny University Hospital.

The situation in the hospital at present has been described by Industrial Relations Officer with the INMO Maura Hickey as 'unsustainable'.

She says at this stage, other options must be explored and is urging the HSE to contact neighboring hospitals in Northern Ireland asking them to assist with the chronic overcrowding.............

Yesterday, the initial INMO Trolley and Ward Watch report revealed that were 25 patients waiting for a bed at Letterkenny University Hospital however according to the INMO that figure rose to 46 as the morning progressed.

In a statement the INMO says that The Emergency Department National Escalation Policy was applied at Letterkenny University Hospital with management opening three escalation areas to house some of the patients, while others were nursed in treatment rooms or on ward corridors.

Some Day Services work was cancelled. Elective work in theatres was also cancelled. Nursing staff in the Day Services Unit were looking after patients in the overflow escalation areas. It's understood that the situation has progressively worsened over the past month.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have learned that there were over 14 patients in the hospital who have been clinically discharged, to other services, which are unavailable at the time. GP and self-referrals to the ED continue to be high.

The hospital has seen an increase of 10% in ED attendances since January this year.

INMO says special emergency and immediate measures are now required.