Hospitals saw record levels of overcrowding in July, say nurses

INMO reports 9,439 people had to wait on trolleys or chairs for a bed

Hospitals experienced their worst July for overcrowding in emergency departments this year, nurses have said.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said nearly 9,500 (9,439) hospital patients who were deemed to require admission had to wait on trolleys or chairs for a bed.

The nurses’ union said this represented an increase of 33 per cent compared with the figures recorded in July 2018.

INMO director of industrial relations Tony Fitzpatrick said increased demands on the health service were expected in the winter "but now even summer sees patients crammed into corridors on trolleys".


He said it was “creating unacceptable risks for patients and health workers alike”.

“Each day there are hundreds of patients languishing in corridors, waiting for a hospital bed. Currently over 700 patients cannot be discharged from hospital. In the meantime, hundreds of frontline nursing and midwifery posts are currently vacant due to the HSE’s dysfunctional and bureaucratic employment control processes.

“Vital roles across all services, at all grades, in all hospitals are left unfilled. This has direct negative consequences for patients.” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

The INMO said the hospitals with the worst levels of overcrowding in July were:

* University Hospital Limerick: 1,293 patients waiting for a bed

* Cork University Hospital: 1,079 patients waiting for a bed

* University Hospital Galway: 707 patients waiting for a bed

* University Hospital Waterford: 590 patients waiting for a bed

* Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin : 560 patients

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

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