Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) in Connolly Hospital in Dublin are calling on hospital management to restrict services, close wards and divert scheduled care to private hospitals.
They have warned that staff are under immense pressure and patient care is being compromised as a result.
One nurse, who has worked in the hospital for years, said that they had “never seen anything like the low morale and exhaustion”.
“The waves of Covid were just so taxing and we are now facing huge volumes of patients coupled with staff shortages. We’ve such a brilliant team in the hospital, but they are at rock bottom,” the nurse, who spoke anonymously, commented.
The INMO has engaged with management to try to find a resolution, but so far, it has not been satisfied with the response.
It noted that while a recent recruitment initiative “has had some success, many of the new recruits will not start until 2022”.
“Our members have been through a very challenging time and are heading into winter with an increased workload and COVID still circulating. Hospital management needs to act urgently to keep staff and patients safe, otherwise, services at the hospital will need to be scaled back to ensure safety for all,” commented INMO industrial relations officer, Maurice Sheehan.
In response to this, nurses at the hospital had planned a lunchtime protest outside the main entrance of the hospital on October 11.
“This protest sends a clear message to hospital management that staff are not willing to continue providing care in a manner where the health and safety of patients and staff is at risk,” Mr Sheehan said.