Belfast Telegraph

More nurses support work-to-rule

Nurses in Naas have become the latest to back a work-to-rule over record overcrowding at the country's hospitals.

After staggering levels of people waiting on trolleys for beds was reached last week, a series of work stoppages will be held from late this month including stopping admin work.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said members at Naas General Hospital voted 97% in favour of the industrial action due to continued severe overcrowding at the hospital.

It will begin on Wednesday February 4 and follows planned work-to-rule action in Beaumont beginning on January 27 and Galway and Limerick and the Mid-West on February 3.

The INMO has warned nurses will only engage in the direct clinical care of patients.

The union is holding a demonstration outside Leinster House today as part of their campaign for the Government and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to bring the crisis to an end.

The INMO said trolley figures in Naas last year increased by 61% compared with 2013 and the overcrowding in the hospital last year saw patients being cared for on trolleys on corridors for the first time ever.

It described the practice as unacceptable and unsafe.

The union hit out at a lack of 50 staff to meet demands and to treat patients in beds reopened in response to the crisis.

Derek Reilly, INMO industrial relations officer, said: "INMO members are gravely concerned for the well-being of patients who have to suffer the indignity of being nursed on a corridor for days at a time.

"The levels of overcrowding and staff shortages at Naas General Hospital are now the worst in the hospital's history."

The results of ballots in Mullingar and Drogheda are awaited.

The number of people waiting on trolleys for full admission to a hospital ward hit a record high of 601 a week ago.

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, with emergency department consultant Mark Doyle as president, has warned that patients will die if the crisis is not resolved.

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