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03rd May 2023

INMO “want action, not words” as the union’s annual conference begins today

Clodagh McKeon

Unsafe staffing has become the norm.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation represents over 40,000 nurses and midwives across the country.

Today, over 350 of its members will begin the Union’s annual conference in Killarney, Co Kerry.

More than 50 motions will be discussed but high on their agenda is hospital overcrowding and the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives.

It comes as yesterday saw 704 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals.

Last month there were over 10,000 patients, including almost 300 children, admitted to hospital without a bed.

The INMO will publish the results of a survey of nurse work and wellbeing today ahead of the three-day conference.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will speak at the conference on Friday while the head of the HSE, Bernard Gloster will speak tomorrow.

“This is negatively impacting their health”

INMO President, Karen McGowan, was speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today and said nurses and midwives have been unable to regain a stable footing since the pandemic.

She explained that the unsafe staffing issue in this country has become the norm.

McGowan also said that following the review of the recent survey, three out of four nurses and midwives have considered quitting.

Burn out and stress is high among hospital staff but the INMO President said they are depending on staff “sticking it out”.

According to RTE News, she said: “People feel constantly under pressure from the workplace to work additional hours so even when they are off.

“They still feel stressed. This is really negatively impacting their health and there was a huge intention to leave.”

INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha says they want action, not words.

She said the chronic staffing shortages are a central problem: “The ask is fairly simple. You know we’re we’ve been pulling out all the stops.

“They’ve been through very busy years, including providing services during COVID and they want real commitments on staffing inclusive of a funding mechanism to ensure that what is promised every year is actually delivered.”

Related links:

704 patients waiting for hospital beds following “out of control” weekend.

Stephen Donnelly vows parents will get ‘full recognition and rights’ of surrogate children.

Only 162 new hospital beds will be added in 2023.