Nurses warn of lack of quality in Leiria’s emergency rooms


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The Portuguese Nurses’ Union (SEP) today warned of the lack of safety and quality of care provided to users in Leiria’s emergency rooms due to the exhaustion of professionals caused by staff shortages.

The coordinator of SEP’s Leiria regional directorate, Ivo Gomes, told the Lusa news agency that it was not possible to provide adequate answers, given the “chaotic situation in the emergency department” (ER) of the Leiria hospital of the Local Health Unit of the Leiria Region (ULSRL).

Ivo Gomes explained that there is an accumulation of patients without adequate staffing.

“We’ve been alerting management and the board of directors to this situation. Patients are kept on a stretcher in the emergency room with a light on them 24 hours a day. There is no quality in the care provided,” he denounced.

The nurse also pointed out that the professionals “are exhausted and in ‘burnout'”, because they are putting in extra hours, a solution that Ivo Gomes said was being found by the ULSRL board of directors to solve the shortage of nurses.

According to the union delegate, more than 3,000 hours of overtime have already been worked.

The emergency team is made up of around 130 nurses.

“We need at least 20 more. The catchment area has increased, but the number of nurses hasn’t,” he lamented.

“Nurses are at risk. We can’t keep burdening them with extra shifts. We’ve been short of nurses for some time, colleagues are retiring and we still have more than 100 precarious nurses. We need permanent jobs,” he stressed.

At a meeting with the SEP on the 10th, the nurses at the Leiria ER decided to draw up a document “listing the problematic issues and suggestions for resolving them, with the aim of presenting it to the Board of Directors, setting a deadline for resolving the problems”.

“The SEP reiterates that this consecutive deterioration in working conditions and the institutional disregard for nurses’ careers have disastrous consequences for the organization of health services, particularly in the ER,” the union said in a statement.

Ivo Gomes also said that SEP had sent a request for a meeting with the board of directors on March 28, to which there has still been no response.

The Lusa agency tried to obtain further clarification from the ULSRL board of directors, but so far this has not been possible.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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