Up to 350 nurses redeployed to ICU with hospitals in 'crisis' mode

ireland
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Vivienne Clarke

HSE chief operations officer Anne O'Connor has said between 300 and 350 nurses have been redeployed to intensive care units while many hospitals are experiencing a crisis situation.

Some small hospitals “really are in trouble” and the pandemic was having an impact on the whole system, she said.

The intensive care system operated at national level and many patients had been moved using the intensive care ambulance fleet, she added.

“There is only so much pressure that you can put on any one hospital.”

Psycho-social supports were being put in place to support staff who could access them online or in person. “We have to ensure our staff can work.”

Exposure

The vaccination policy in hospitals was based on exposure not rank or position, that had been the priority — the Covid pathways, from emergency departments to the Covid wards to the ICU and critical care units — “those most at risk to the high levels of exposure.”

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Ms O’Connor said there is no issue with the supply of higher grade masks for staff.

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Where hospitals feel they need to supply them to staff they are free to do so, she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. Prior to Christmas the HSE was providing 106,000 of the masks per week, now they are providing one million per week, she said.

While there had been a small reduction in the number of Covid cases the numbers were still too high she said with 1,803 in hospital, 217 of them in intensive care. Combined with a high level of absenteeism this meant that staff were being redeployed.

 

 

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