Number of hospital patients on trolleys passes 100,000 mark for this year

Overcrowding at record levels, according to Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation

The INMO, which has been counting the number of admitted patients without a bed since 2004, says 2017 was the worst year up to now. Photograph: iStock

The INMO, which has been counting the number of admitted patients without a bed since 2004, says 2017 was the worst year up to now. Photograph: iStock

 

The number of patients who have waited on trolleys or in wards for a hospital bed has exceeded 100,000 this year, for the first time since records began.

With one month left in the year, 2018 is the worst year ever for hospital overcrowding, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

There were 451 patients on trolleys and chairs across Ireland’s hospital on Wednesday morning, bringing the total for 2018 so far to 100,385. Today’s total includes five children aged under 16.

The INMO, which has been counting the number of admitted patients without a bed since 2004, says 2017 was the worst year up to now, with a total of 98,981 patients by year’s end.

The worst-affected hospitals so far this year are University Hospital Limerick, with 10,554 patients on trolleys, Cork University Hospital (8,566) and University Hospital Galway (6,821).

“Behind these statistics are vulnerable individual patients, forced to wait in unsafe, uncomfortable conditions,” said INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha.

“Adding extra beds requires extra nurses and midwives. Without addressing the recruitment and retention crisis, the HSE will not be able to recruit enough nurses and midwives to resolve this crisis.”