Death by a thousand cuts for health system

The government’s recruitment and promotions freeze has taken a toll on the national health service, writes Susan Mitchell

17th April, 2010

Earlier this month, nurses working in the emergency department of University College Hospital Galway (UCHG) signed documents disclaiming responsibility for errors during a particularly busy night at the hospital.

There were 51 patients on trolleys, an unprecedented number. The nurses believed that the overcrowding and pressure on services was so chronic there was a real possibility that mistakes would be made - mistakes which could cost them their jobs.

Consultants considered closing the doors to the...

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