Twelve on trolleys at Mullingar hospital

There are twelve patients on trolleys at Midland Regional Hospital today, Monday, according to the Trolley Watch figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

Even though nationally the number of patients on trolleys fell between Friday and Monday from 535 to 489, the situation at Mullingar has disimproved since Friday, when there were seven patients on trolleys.

On Thursday the Mullingar figure was six but on December 30, the INMO figures show, there were 19 on trolleys awaiting beds.

Following an emergency meeting on Friday, the Executive Council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation sanctioned the beginning of a consultation with nurses on a campaign of industrial action.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said after the meeting: “The Executive Council of the INMO, made up of working nurses and midwives, have today taken the decision to begin a period of consultation on a campaign of industrial action in pursuance of safe staffing levels that are underpinned with legislation and clinical facilitation in all hospitals to ensure a safe skills mix."

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said that nurses and midwives had been warning that there would be an overcrowding blackspot in January unless serious and meaningful action was taken.

INMO President Karen McGowan said: “We will now begin a period of consultation pertaining to industrial action. Nurses and midwives are being asked to crisis manage a situation that is of our employers’ own making. We know that levels of burnout are at an all-time high.

“We must now take whatever action is deemed necessary to ensure that we do not endure this level of danger in our workplaces in the coming months and years ahead on a continuous replay mode.

“We will now commence a series of information and consultation meetings with members over the next month.”