Nurses concerned for health and safety of patients at Letterkenny University Hospital

The INMO has given more details of the overcrowding crisis at Letterkenny University Hospital which saw 46 sick people without a bed making it the most overcrowded in Ireland.

The organisation has called for action saying people were waiting for beds in an unsafe and unsatisfactory environment.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says the bed capacity problem at Letterkenny University Hospital continues to worsen with the escalation policy partially invoked almost continually over the past six weeks in order to deal with increasing bed demand.

It says elective work continues at the hospital despite the increased attendances at the Emergency Department stating this policy is for use in exceptional circumstances as opposed to everyday use.

The organisation says that nursing staff are seriously concerned regarding the health and safety of patients and this cannot continue.

They says nurses are fearful that patients are being put at risk on a daily basis while they strive to deliver basic care while there are wards in the hospital with insufficient nurses to deliver basic nursing care.

The INMO says this situation is now causing untold human suffering for patients with nurses regularly taken from an already short staffed ward to cover in other areas.

The INMO wants the HSE to implement its own escalation policy in response to this crisis situation; the immediate cancellation, for a number of days, of planned elective admissions/procedures and an independent review of the existing practices/processes at the hospital