Another Record Broken For Trolley Figures At UHK

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IT was the worst October since records began for numbers of patients waiting on trolleys at University Hospital Kerry according to new figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

Nationally, it was also the worst October and the second worst month ever for overcrowding with not enough beds for 11,452 patients in Irish hospitals this month.

There were 306 patients waiting on trolleys at UHK this month, up from the previous high of 287 in October 2018.

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The INMO has warned that, together with chronic understaffing patients are at “grave risk”.

INMO analysis of the latest HSE workforce figures nationally, shows that since the start of 2019 there are 308 fewer staff nurses, 37 fewer Public Health Nurses and 87 fewer staff midwives The final figure represents a 6% drop in the staff midwife workforce over just nine months.

Figures produced by the INMO in August found over 1,300 nursing and midwifery vacancies in the public health sector as a direct result of the HSE’s recruitment freeze. 284 of the vacancies were in midwifery – with 1 in 6 posts vacant.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “The message from the frontline is clear: patients are being put at grave risk. There is no doubt that this situation will worsen as winter bites, unless staffing becomes a top priority for the government. Patients are paying the price for the HSE’s “go slow” recruitment freeze, which leaves many posts unfilled. I have written to the HSE to warn that their recruitment pause is putting lives at risk.

“We need to be encouraging more nurses and midwives into our system. Instead, we are making an already bureaucratic recruitment process even more difficult. In many cases, we’re slamming the door on those who want to work in our public health system.”

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