HIQA criticism reflects nurses’ view on Limerick hospital problems

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Mary Fogarty, INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations

THE highly critical Health Information and Quality Authority report into the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick reflects concerns raised by nursing staff at the Dooradoyle hospital.

Reacting to the HIQA report, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said it reflected their concerns on overcrowding in the hospital which has a significant impact on the retention of nurses in such unsafe workplaces, despite the significant recruitment efforts of nurse managers.

The INMO also stated it welcomed the report’s recommendation of a quality and workforce review and that it would be seeking engagement on this over the coming weeks.

INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations Mary Fogarty described the report as “a fair analysis of the situation our members are facing on the ground.

“However, it needs to be noted that when things are this bad it becomes harder to keep nurses in their jobs, which makes it harder to ensure safe staffing numbers.

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“The report shows that nursing staff are doing everything they can in a desperate situation, but that it’s not possible to keep patients safe in these conditions.

“Our members have been drawing attention to these issues for years and we requested that HIQA investigate the situation in UHL.  Nurses welcome the publication of the report as a first step, but it’s important that it leads to action.

“It would be wrong to wait for a winter surge or the next healthcare emergency to act on this. The report’s recommendations must be implemented urgently or the crisis in the Mid West is only going to get worse.

“Decisions based on patient safety and staff safety must now be made. We will seek to engage urgently with the HSE on this,” Ms Fogarty added.