HIQA to conduct review of ED capacity in Mid West Region

The review was commissioned on foot of the death by medical misadventure of Aoife Johnston at the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick

Max Ryan

May 15, 2024

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  • Speaking at last week's INMO annual delegate conference in Croke Park, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced that he had commissioned a review by HIQA of emergency care capacity in the Mid West Region, with a view to making a case for the opening of a second emergency department in the area.

    Minister Donnelly said he was concerned that safe staffing levels had yet to be implemented at UHL despite funding being allocated. He did not offer any timeline for the HIQA review and said the review’s terms of reference would only be finalised once he had received the findings of Justice Frank Clarke’s report into the death by medical misadventure of Ms Johnston in the emergency department at UHL.

    In addition the Minister promised delegates that he would continue to seek an end to the recruitment pause, which conference heard had contributed significantly to delays in the implementation of the Framework for Safe Staffing and Skill Mix.

    “I am aware that the recruitment pause is a concern for all of you and I know from my visits to hospitals and community care areas that it is placing pressure on staff,” he said.

    “I am working with government to resolve the current situation. In spite of the recruitment pause, it is encouraging to see that nearly 3,200 additional nurses and midwives were employed across the country in the past year.

    The Minister added that in spite of the pressure the hiring embargo was placing on staff, the addition of 400 nursing posts to the workforce through agency conversion this year “will get us much closer to where we need to be”.

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