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Dublin: 10°C Friday 25 June 2021

Nurse to patient ratio is becoming unsafe says INMO

Irish nurses look after between 20 and 60 per cent more patients than their British counterparts.

Image: Nurse via Shutterstock

THE IRISH NURSES and Midwives Organisation says that Irish nurses are overworked, caring for between 20 and 60 per cent more patients than their UK counterparts.

A new study from the INMO says that low staffing levels increase the likelihood of patient deaths and care failures. They cite the case of Mid-Staffordshire Hospital, where 1,200 unnecessary deaths occurred.

They want the government to ensure safe staffing levels across the health system, saying that the Irish system has gone backwards in comparison to the NHS in Britain.


The INMO 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 every 29.5 births.

INMO President Claire Mahon said that the safe staffing campaign would be underpinned by the one to four ratio.

“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 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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