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Dublin: 17°C Wednesday 22 September 2021

Nurses to be hired "as matter of urgency" to reduce emergency department overcrowding

The decision was made at the Workplace relations Commission today.

Image: Shutterstock/VILevi

RECRUITMENT IS to begin for new nurses in an effort to stem the current emergency department crisis.

The agreement was made during crisis talks at the Workplace Relations Commission involving the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the HSE/Department of Health.

Overcrowding has been an ongoing issue for Irish hospitals, with an ED taskforce being convened by the Department of Health to deal with the situation.

Late last year, new rules introduced a “zero tolerance” policy towards patients waiting more than nine hours to be seen.

The first review of the Emergency Department agreement to ease overcrowding took place today, where the HSE and Department reaffirmed their absolute commitment to implement all strands of the agreement.

The INMO said that at the meeting today, management reaffirmed:

  • The need for senior management and clinicians, at hospital and group level, to meet on a weekly basis with INMO Emergency Department representatives to monitor and review the 24/7 operation of the agreement and the escalation policy
  • That all nursing posts which are vacant – and other posts required to deal with admitted patients – either in Emergency Departments or on wards, will be advertised and filled as a matter of urgency
  • Discussions will begin next week on the establishment of the taskforce on nurse staffing in Emergency Departments

“That’s critical in terms of safe practice for our members, manageable workload for our members, and safe care for the patients presenting,” said INMO General Secretary Liam Doran.

The WRC has also agreed to meet again with the parties on Friday 15 April.

Doran said that the INMO is satisfied that the HSE/Department of Health remain fully committed to implementing all aspects of the Emergency Department agreement to ease overcrowding.

“The INMO will now meet directly with the Department of Health/HSE, on Monday, to finalise circulars with regard to the implementation of these critically important issues,” said Doran.

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