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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019

"Overcrowded and understaffed": Nurses hold protest at Galway hospital

There were 13 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Galway yesterday.

Image: Brian Farrell/Photocall Ireland

NURSES AT UNIVERSITY Hospital Galway will protest for one hour at lunchtime today amid concerns over the number of patients on trolleys in the Emergency Department.

Organised by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, and supported by Siptu, workers say they were “gravely concerned” that the department is “extremely overcrowded and understaffed”.

Nurses have said there aren’t enough beds in the hospital for the number of patients, and that patients are being deprived of care with dignity.

Figures from the INMO yesterday showed there were 13 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Galway. This is lower than hospitals such as Beaumont Hospital in Dublin which had 38 – the highest in the country – but higher than many regional hospitals.

The hospital itself acknowledged the ongoing problems in the Emergency Department, and said it is trying to fix the problems.

“Despite the ongoing efforts of staff and management, not all ED patients are afforded privacy and dignity,” the hospital said in a statement.

The build-up of patients in the Emergency Department is linked to bed availability throughout the building, the hospital said, adding that some long term care patients are due to be moved, resulting in more acute beds becoming available.

The hospital also said that at least 20 new nurses are due to start work soon.

Management and the INMO met yesterday afternoon in what the hospital said was a “good exchange of views” about the concerns.

The protest will take place from 1pm to 2pm today.

Read: ‘Winter is coming’ and nurses say Irish hospitals are not prepared > 

Read: Number of patients admitted on trolleys up 187% in some hospitals > 

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