Numbers waiting on hospital trolleys dip to 649

Trolley Watch figures fall from record-high of 714, to 649 on Tuesday

The numbers waiting for a hospital bed have dropped from the record-high of 714 yesterday, to 649 on Tuesday.

The number of people waiting on trolleys in wards or emergency departments fell by 65 since yesterday, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) 'Trolley Watch' count.

The numbers recorded waiting for a hospital bed on Tuesday is significantly higher than the 392 listed on trolleys the same time last year.

For the second day in a row University Hospital Limerick had the most patients waiting for a bed, at 58. Other hospitals with high levels of overcrowding were Cork University Hospital (56), St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny (40), and Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore (37).


In Dublin, St Vincent’s University Hospital had the highest number of patients waiting for beds (29), followed by Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown (24).


Damien McCallion, director of emergency services at the Health Service Executive (HSE), said they are still responding to backlogs caused by Storm Emma. The health service have had to cancel over 300 elective procedures a day over the last week, to try and manage pressure on the system.

Mr McCallion told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the health service was already dealing with an increased demand on hospitals before the severe weather, and "can't conjure up new capacity overnight. "

Commenting on an appeal by University Hospital Limerick yesterday, for patients to consider their treatment options before attending emergency departments, Mr McCallion said that if someone needs emergency care then they should go to the emergency department.

However, they should consider minor injury units if they can avail of them. If they can avail of a GP then he would encourage them to do so.

The overcrowding problem in hospitals was tied to other problems with Ireland’s primary care service, he said.

There was a need for a proper layer of health services between the hospital and the GP, he said, which would ease pressure on emergency departments.