Nursing Unions demand release of report into conditions at Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick

SIPTU and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation are calling upon the Minister for Health, James Reilly, to immediately publish a report by the HSE Special Delivery Unit (SDU) into the unacceptable conditions currently endured by patients in the Emergency Department of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said; “It is our understanding that the Minister received the SDU report into conditions in the Emergency Department of the Mid-Western Regional hospital late last week. If the Minister is serious about transparency and tackling the crisis in this and other emergency departments he must publish this report immediately.”

Paul Bell added; “We believe that the SDU report will confirm that under-funding, patient overcrowding and a shortage of nursing staff have resulted in a crisis for patient care in the Emergency Department of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.” Paul Bell was among a large number of Union members attending the SIPTU Biennial Delegate Conference in Ennis who travelled to join nurses on the picket line outside the hospital during today’s work stoppage.

Mary Fogarty, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mid West Region said that: “From the outset of this dispute the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation requested the intervention of the Special Delivery Unit. The recommendations contained within this report are central to enabling the unions and the Health Service Executive to, once and for all, seek to address the bed capacity issues within the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick and to address the very serious patient safety issues that have been growing there in particular since the reconfiguration process commenced in April 2009. The INMO believes that these recommendations could be a foundation for re-establishing acceptable standards of care within the hospital.”

The call for the SDU report’s publication follows a work stoppage by SIPTU and INMO members working in the Emergency Department in the Mid-Western Regional hospital this morning (4th October) between 8.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m.

The industrial action was the third such stoppage aimed at highlighting the unacceptable conditions that have resulted for patients in the emergency department due to HSE under-funding and under-staffing which has been exacerbated by the hospital reconfiguration programme.

Both unions will attend a meeting at the Labour Relations Commission tomorrow (5th October) to discuss a possible resolution of the patient care crisis in the Emergency Department at the Limerick Hospital.

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