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Overcrowding fears lead Tallaght Hospital to cancel non-urgent surgeries

The hospital’s management said it was in the middle of a ‘clearly undesirable situation’ but said patient safety was being maintained.
Feb 6th 2014, 10:25 AM 4,949 16

TALLAGHT HOSPITAL HAS cancelled some non-urgent elective and day case surgeries due to “seasonally high admittances and attendances”.

In a statement this morning, the hospital’s management said it is implementing a response plan to deal with the current pressures on the Emergency Department.

Last night, the INMO claimed that patients were being put at risk because of overcrowding. There were 254 people on trolleys in January, with another 69 people on trolleys in wards.

However, today the hospital said that “significant engagement” is taking place with medical and surgical staff in order to put in place a plan to address the current staff levels and maintain patient safety.

“While this is clearly an undesirable situation, it is not untypical at this time of the year,” the statement continued. “The cancellations are being carried out in planned manner and patients are being notified in advance.”

The INMO is calling on the HSE to lift its embargo on recruitment of frontline staff. “We are afraid the hospital is dangerous due to overcrowding and staff shortages,” said Derek Reilly from the INMO.

“Patient safety is at risk there – we are afraid someone might die.”

“Our members in the Emergency Department are unanimous to a person that the department is not safe,” said Reilly, adding that the coronary care department and wards are also concerned.

The INMO is due to meet management in Tallaght Hospital on Friday morning.

Related: Concerns that overcrowding at Tallaght Hospital puts patient safety at risk

More: Graduate nurses to protest €6.49 per hour training wage

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Sinead O'Carroll


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