Nearly 7,400 patients left without hospital beds in June, INMO says

Nurses’ organisation says statistics show apparent erosion of ‘summer respite’

‘Summer 2019 is as bad as winter was five years ago,’ says INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha. File photograph: Alan Betson

‘Summer 2019 is as bad as winter was five years ago,’ says INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha. File photograph: Alan Betson

 

Almost 7,400 people were left in hospital without beds last month, an increase of 7 per cent on the same numbers left waiting in June 2018, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said.

Its new monthly summary of the state of hospital capacity also highlights some other developments – on June 25th, 482 patients were left stranded on trolleys, the highest total for any day in June since records began. It also represented a 49 per cent increase on the same day in 2018.

According to the INMO, the statistics show an apparent erosion of the so called “summer respite” - the season traditionally associated with less demand in hospitals.

“Our members tell us that there’s no longer a summer respite when it comes to overcrowding. Summer 2019 is as bad as winter was five years ago. Understaffing is driving year-round unsafe conditions,” said INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha.

“The Government and HSE need to get a handle on this problem. That means implementing the safe staffing framework and making real progress on Sláintecare.

“Without serious investment and reform, this problem will continue to spiral, with patients and frontline staff paying the price.”

The INMO monthly figures, which tally the number of people left waiting on trolleys for beds in both A&E departments and in wards, showed that among 7,392 patients in June, 55 were children.

Cork University Hospital, South Tipperary General Hospital, Sligo University Hospital, University Hospital Waterford and Tallaght University Hospital all recorded their worst-ever June for overcrowding, it said.

Worst offenders

Cork University Hospital: 834 patients

University Hospital Limerick: 833 patients

University Hospital Galway: 546 patients

Tallaght University Hospital: 496 patients

University Hospital Waterford: 495 patients