Two hospitals bucked the downward trend in emergency department overcrowding last month, it has emerged.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) found there was a 14% reduction in the number of admitted patients on trolleys last month, compared to May 2015.

However, over the previous 12 months, there was an increase in the number of admitted patients on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick and the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

The INMO’s analysis shows the number of admitted patients on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick rose from 538 to 592.

The year-on-year comparison also shows the number of patients admitted on trolleys in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar rose from 435 to 445.

University Hospital Limerick also had the highest number of admitted patients on trolleys last month.

Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, with 535 admitted patients on trolleys, had the second highest number.

Both South Tipperary General Hospital and the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, each had the third highest number, with 448 admitted patients on trolleys.

Overall, the figures confirm that 6,627 patients admitted for care were on trolleys this year, compared to 7,713 last year.

There were 262 admitted patients on trolleys yesterday, according to the INMO, and South Tipperary General Hospital had the highest number, with 27, followed by University Hospital Galway, with 26, and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, with 25.

The INMO welcomed the easing in the level of overcrowding, but it put it down to the time of year, improved weather, and the current emergency department agreement. The body warned that the positive development would be short-lived if the recruitment pause, recently announced by the HSE was not “stood down” immediately.

It warned that the inevitable consequence of any delays in the recruitment of nurses and other frontline staff would result in the curtailment of services and a reduction in bed capacity that would exacerbate pressures on emergency departments. INMO general secretary Liam Doran said uncertainty over recruitment must be cleared up.


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