Nurses say January was worst ever month for hospital overcrowding

INMO says more than 12,000 patients were on trolleys awaiting a hospital bed last month

The INMO said the latest figures marked a 128 per cent increase on the numbers recorded in 2007. Photograph: iStock

January was the worst ever month for hospital overcrowding, nurses have said.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) said there were more than 12,000 people waiting on trolleys for beds at various stages last month.

The INMO said this represented an 18 per cent increase over the numbers recorded in January 2017 , which themselves were a record high. It said the latest figures marked a 128 per cent increase on the numbers recorded in 2007.

"The most overcrowded hospital in the eastern region was St Vincent's University Hospital with 559 people waiting on trolleys and 1,003 were recorded for the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, the highest outside of Dublin. Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin and National Children's Hospital, Tallaght recorded an additional 192 children, waiting on trolleys, during January," the INMO said.


Flu rates

Meanwhile, the HSE has warned increased flu rates will place additional pressure on the hospital system for at least the next four weeks.

HSE figures show the number of people attending GPs with flu-like illnesses is at its highest level since 2010, the year after the H1N1 virus outbreak.

So far this season, 55 people have died from influenza, the majority of whom were over 65, many with underlying illnesses.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

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