Limerick Hospital 'Cannot Cope'

A nurses union has described the situation at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick as "chaos".

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) today, 45 patients are awaiting access to a designated hospital bed at the struggling hospital.

A spokesperson for the union said 24 patients are in the Emergency Department, 10 patients are in a transit lounge and 11 patients are being forced to stay behind doors or on corridors of already full wards.

The hospital, which is ironically the Regional Centre of Excellence in the Mid West, underwent a major reconfiguration process over the last 18 months. The union said a central requirement of the reconfiguration process was an additional 135 beds but these beds were never provided.

The INMO say they predicted at the time that the closure of beds in Ennis and Nenagh would cause huge difficulties for Limerick without the implementation of this key recommendation of the Teamwork’s report, however the claim was rejected by the HSE.

"Hospital staff and patients have been left to cope with chaos every day and an inability to give a quality and safe service," the union spokesperson said. They added: "The overcrowding, shortage of nursing staff and the unsafe clinical environment are a major cause of concern to INMO members at the hospital."

The union said patient care was being severely compromised and that they are now calling for an urgent review of services at the hospital following their recommendations in the review of Ennis General Hospital, which was central to the HSE argument to close the beds.

According to Mary Fogarty, INMO Industrial Relations Officer in the Mid West: “Proposals by the HSE to close up to a further 50 acute beds in Limerick next week will cause total collapse of acute hospital services in the region and is akin to a “Fawlty Towers” approach to healthcare management which this organisation will not support.”


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