Just under 600 people on hospital trolleys, according to INMO

Number of those on trolleys actually fell in the immediate aftermath of recent action


The number of people awaiting treatment on hospital trolleys in emergency departments and wards on Monday morning was 596, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said.

This figure is considered very high. On the same day last year there were 544 people on trolleys. The INMO has said a figure of 600 or more is considered “exceptionally high”.

The relationship between the volume of patients awaiting treatment and ongoing industrial action by nurses is difficult to ascertain.

An INMO spokesman said the numbers on trolleys actually fell in the immediate aftermath of its strikes.

This was due to a combination of cancelled procedures freeing up hospital capacity and patient management, including advanced discharges, by hospitals anticipating lower staffing levels.

On Monday South Tipperary hospital reported 19 people on trolleys with just four emergency department beds.

However, there were just two patients reported on trolleys across the three Dublin children’s hospitals.

Elsewhere, the “worst hit” hospitals included Cork University Hospital (52), University Hospital Limerick (51) and Letterkenny University Hospital (42).

On one day in mid-January, the number reached 606 patients which was the highest so far in 2019 and the highest since since March 2018.

Monday’s level is the highest in February this year so far.

The highest figure on record was reported on March 12th, 2018 when it reached 714.