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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 2 April, 2020

Nurses to track hospital overcrowding

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is to launch Ward Watch, a new initiative, this morning.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

NURSES ACROSS THE country are to begin measuring hospital overcrowding from today as part of a new initiative called Ward Watch.

The INMO said it will publish results on a daily basis, along with the already-established Trolley Watch. The combined data will reveal an “overall measure of hospital overcrowding”, according to members who requested the system.

The union believes Ward Watch will confirm that a number of hospitals are regularly overcrowding their inpatient wards. Those on the frontline have told of their experiences of seeing patients being placed in inappropriate locations on an ongoing basis.

“This practice compromises the care of all patients on those wards due to an increased risk of cross infection and inadequate staffing while also minimising the dignity and privacy to these patients,” general secretary Liam Doran said in a statement.

It is hoped the figures will also show that progress has been made in a number of hospitals in reducing the number of patients on trolleys. However, in others, the level of overcrowding continues, leading to an overall national increase in the number of patients placed on trolleys/beds in “inappropriate care” environments.

The INMO says it remains “fundamentally opposed” to the placing of extra beds or trolleys above the stated complement on any ward or unit.

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