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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Nurses' boss 'not optimistic' as task force pledge to make more hospital beds available

The HSE’s Director General Tony O’Brien vowed to free 455 beds
The HSE’s Director General Tony O’Brien vowed to free 455 beds

The general secretary of the Irish Midwives and Nurses Organisation (INMO) has said he is "not optimistic" after an Emergency Department Task Force announced that extra beds would be opened to tackle overcrowding in the country's hospitals.

The task force has pledged to open more than 450 beds.

Liam Doran said that new beds will not be enough to combat the current crisis coming into the busy winter period, and that more nurses have to be made available.

"I'm not optimistic about the situation, I'd like to be and would hope that this might reduce the number of patients currently waiting on trolleys, but without extra staff this won't be possible," he said.

Resources

"What was said today is nothing new, and the huge shortage has to be addressed by making financial resources readily available.

"The trolley figures for October will be published today, and it is the worst October we've ever had. I'd like to think that the situation will get better, but it won't unless more is done," Mr Doran added.

HSE director general Tony O'Brien said that the crisis is localised and caused by variable issues.

He said it was not a single national problem.

He was speaking after a meeting of the Emergency Department Task Force in Dublin to review the problem of hospital overcrowding.

The opening of around 455 new and closed beds was discussed, with an amount of these subject to staffing levels.

The 455 beds include 301 new beds and 154 beds which were closed.

The INMO's trolley watch showed that there were 309 patients around the country waiting on trolleys yesterday.

Worst affected is University Hospital Limerick, with 28 patients, followed by Beaumont (27), Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda (24), and St Vincent's University Hospital with 23.

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