Trolley numbers fall but still 100 more than when national emergency declared in 2006

Nurses say 13 children on trolleys awaiting admission in Dublin paediatric hospitals

The number of people on trolleys in emergency departments and on wards awaiting admission to a hospital bed has fallen to 585 on Wednesday.

This is down from the record level of 714 on Monday. On Tuesday there were 649 people on trolleys in hospital emergency departments and on wards, according to figures compiled by the Irish Nursesand Midwives Organisation (INMO).

The nurses' trade union said there were 49 patients on trolleys or on wards at Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Limerick on Wednesday.

The INMO said there were 13 children on trolleys waiting for a bed - 11 at Temple St Hospital and two at Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin.


The union said there were 37 patients awaiting admission at University Hospital in Galway and at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny.

In Dublin the worst overcrowding was experienced at Tallaght Hospital where, according to the INMO figures, there were 29 people on trolleys or on wards awaiting admission to a bed.

There were also 29 people on trolleys or on awards awaiting admission at Naas General Hospital.

Under the HSE’s method of calculation, which does not include additional patients placed on wards, there were 440 patients deemed in need of admission waiting on trolleys for a bed on Wednesday.

Although the trolley numbers have reduced from the record high levels reached earlier this week, the numbers on Wednesday were still nearly 100 higher than the 495 recorded in March 2006 - which prompted then minister for health Mary Harney to declare that the situation was a national emergency.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent