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Niall Carson/PA Archive

Nurses set for work stoppage at Limerick's Mid-Western hospital

The four-hour stoppage demonstrating against hospital overcrowding starts at 8.30am today.

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT nurses at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital are holding a four-hour work stoppage from 8.30am in protest over overcrowding at the Limerick hospital. This is the second stoppage in eight days.

Nursing staff say they are concerned about serious overcrowding and the negative impact it has on the standard of nursing care which they can provide.

Talks were held at the Labour Relations Commission yesterday, but failed to reach an agreement which would prevent today’s action.

INMO relations officer Mary Fogarty said this morning that “due to the moratorium on recruitment and the huge financial deficit which the hospital finds itself in, local HSE management were not in a position to immediately address, even on an interim basis for a period of five to six weeks, the patient safety concerns of our members”.

She said even interim measures would have helped addressed “many internal system issues”.

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher accused Minister for Health James Reilly of failing to listen to nurses, despite his election promises. He said the nurses are being forced to take action over “major issues of public safety” which are not confined to Mid-Western Regional Hospital.

According to the latest Trolley Watch figures from the INMO, 394 people were waiting on hospital trolleys for a bed yesterday. Eighteen of those were at the Limerick hospital.

Another 48 people waited on trolleys at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, 38 at UCHG, 22 at Wexford General Hospital, and 18 at Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise.

Read: Nurses ramp up protest with second strike over ‘safety risks’ >

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