UHL was most overcrowded hospital in June, survey shows

An analysis by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation of its trolley/ward watch shows there were 640 admitted patients on trolleys in UHL waiting for a hospital bed.

University Hospital Galway had the second highest number of patients on trolleys in June with 566, followed by the Mater Hospital in Dublin that had 532.

Cork University Hospital had 469 patients on trolleys, and University Hospital Waterford had 406.

UHL has a new emergency department which is three times the size of its previous facility.

It opened at the end of May, but emergency consultants in the hospital have warned that overcrowding will continue because of a lack of beds.

The number of admitted patients on trolleys in UHL has increased by 75% since 2013 and by 25% last year when there were 512 patients on trolleys, according to the INMO.

UHL has asked for €25m from the HSE and the Department of Health for a 96-bed facility; it has €1m for the design phase that will start in the coming months.

Over the last six months, there were 51,321 admitted patients on trolleys or overcrowded wards in public hospitals around the country, a 6% increase over the same period last year.

Last month there were 7,124 patients on trolleys, a 21% increase in June 2016.

There was a reduction of patients on trolleys in Dublin during the first half of this year, but the numbers significantly increased outside of the capital.

Last month hospitals saw an increase in patients on trolleys, compared to June 2016

The INMO said it understood that some hospitals had tried to maintain elective procedure admissions in recent weeks to reduced waiting time for planned care.

It is concerned that the hospitals lack the capacity to provide necessary services for planned and emergency admissions.

At the emergency department taskforce meeting yesterday the INMO called for immediate action to address staff and bed capacity problems.

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said the figures showed that the health service could not cope with the demands placed on it.

According to the HSE’s trolley count yesterday there were 187 admitted patients on trolleys in hospital emergency departments yesterday — 83 were waiting in emergency departments for a bed for more than nine hours and that included 22 waiting more than 24 hours.

The Mater Hospital in Dublin had the highest number of patients on trolleys yesterday with 25 in its emergency department; 11 were waiting more than nine hours for a bed, and two were waiting more that 24 hours.

UHL had 16 patients on trolleys, with four waiting more than nine hours, according to the HSE.

The INMO’s Trolley and Ward Watch counted 176 patients on trolleys in emergency departments and 57 onwards awaiting a hospital bed yesterday.

UHL had the highest number of admitted patients on trolleys with 37, followed by the Mater Hospital with 25.

Meanwhile, the Health Information and Quality Authority has confirmed that 36% of those invited to take part in the National Patient Experience Survey have returned their surveys.

It describes the return rate as very positive. The survey closes on July 26.


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