Staff at the Emergency Department in St Vincent’s Hospital took part in a protest this afternoon to highlight the ‘intolerable’ conditions within the department.
Dozens of medical staff and representatives of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) came together between 1pm and 2pm this afternoon to demonstrate against severe under-staffing and a shortage of beds within the Emergency Department.
It comes after recent figures showed a 134% increase in the number of patients who spent time on trolleys between January and September this year compared to the same time last year.
Addressing the crowd outside St Vincent’s, Liam Doran, the general secretary of the INMO, urged staff to lean on each other and focus on the patients during this time.
“There’s too few of you and too many patients. Your practice, your needs and the welfare of your patients come before budgets and policies and ducking and diving by those who should know better,” he said.
He also warned that this was just the beginning of industrial action nationwide.
He said: “We’re going to continue negotiating at national level. If we don’t get progress, this hospital will be joined by other hospitals when we ballot them for other work to rules. If we have to have a withdrawal of labour in a collective and coordinated manner, we will.
“Stick with it, lean on each other, put pressure on management, focus on patient care and we will prevail. We are absolutely solid with you.”
Aisling Carr, a nurse in St. Vincent’s, emphasised the importance of finding a solution, as the current situation is putting pressure on staff as well as patients.
She said: “It’s massively stressful. We need to get more beds and more staff for the patients, they’re sitting in there for 3 or 4 days on trolleys. It’s intolerable. Hopefully with the Budget coming up the Government will have some extra money to put into healthcare. Fingers crossed.”
The staff will begin a work to rule as of 8am tomorrow which includes a withdrawal from any clerical work and any non-nursing duties.