INMO Raise Concerns Over Staffing Levels In Hospitals

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have said that over 8,000 additional nurses are needed to ensure safe staffing levels in the health service.

The INMO are calling on the government to legislate for mandatory safe staffing ratios if catastrophes, like that which occurred in Mid-Staffordshire Hospital, where up to 1,200 unnecessary deaths occurred, are to be avoided.

At the campaign launch the INMO also called for one registered nurse to every four patients in busy acute medical and surgical wards and, in the case of midwifery, one midwife to 29.5 births, which is internationally accepted as the necessary ratio in maternity services.

According to the INMO, staffing in Irish wards is lower than in equivalent wards in the UK.

Speaking at today’s launch INMO President Claire Mahon said: "This campaign, which is fully underpinned by international research, is targeted at creating, and sustaining, within our health service an environment for patients where their care is always quality assured and delivered with dignity.

"The ratio of one nurse to look after four patients (1 : 4) at times of high activity, on medical/surgical wards will be a cornerstone of this campaign. The current reality of one nurse looking after over eight patients, on day shifts, and over 12 patients at night cannot continue. The research confirms the risks and dangers, for patients, associated with this high workload and government cannot ignore this any longer."


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