Nearly 10,000 patients spent time on trolleys in hospitals in March

Nurses’ union says overcrowding ‘endemic’ in Ireland’s hospitals

The INMO said the number of patients who required admission to a hospital bed but who had to spend time waiting on trolleys in March was 9,714.  It said this included 117 children.

The INMO said the number of patients who required admission to a hospital bed but who had to spend time waiting on trolleys in March was 9,714. It said this included 117 children.

 

Nearly 10,000 people spent time on a trolley in an emergency department on or a ward waiting for admission to a hospital bed last month, nurses have said.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said trolley numbers increased by 14 per cent in March compared with those recorded in February .

The INMO said the number of patients who required admission to a hospital bed but who had to spend time waiting on trolleys in March was 9,714.

It said this included 117 children.

The nurses’ trade union said the average daily figure for patients on trolleys the month was 486.

The INMO said the worst-affected hospitals were: University Hospital Limerick – 1,054; Cork University Hospital – 870; University Hospital Galway – 722; South Tipperary General Hospital – 520 and Sligo University Hospital – 483.

The union said University Hospital Limerick had its second-worst day for overcrowding last month, with 76 people on trolleys on March 19th.

Last week also saw a spike in the trolley numbers with 617 patients on trolleys in emergency departments or on wards on Tuesday 26th – the worst overcrowding levels recorded in a year.

The INMO said smaller hospitals also had experienced severe problems.

It said Sligo University Hospital recorded 483 patients waiting for admission to a bed in March this month. It said this represented a 35 per cent increase on March last year.

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said overcrowding remained “endemic” in Ireland’s hospitals.

“Other countries are investing in their nurses and midwives - we need to do the same to recruit and retain more staff.

“And as Limerick continues to be the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland, management there are closing beds and shutting down an entire ward. “

“If our health service doesn’t see staffing and capacity increases, conditions will only worsen for patients and staff alike.”

The HSE said last week there had been a surge of nearly seven per cent in the of people attending hospital emergency departments compared with the same period in 2018 from 23,408 to 25,021.

“While the flu season has abated, our hospitals continue to see higher numbers of patients whom require isolation and critical care which impacts on available capacity”, the HSE said.