Munster hospitals worst hit as trolley numbers soar

Nine times as many people waiting on trolleys last month than during April, says INMO, with University Hospital Limerick and Cork University Hospital the worst affected
Munster hospitals worst hit as trolley numbers soar

The worst affected hospital in the country was University Hospital Limerick, which had 1,064 people waiting on a trolley last month. File Picture: PA

Nine times as many people were on waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals last month than during April of this year, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

According to INMO figures, the total number of people without hospital beds rose to 4,499 in October, from a low of 497 this past April. 

The worst affected hospital in the country was University Hospital Limerick (UHL), which had 1,064 people waiting on a trolley last month.

Cork University Hospital saw the second-highest October total, with 685. 

The INMO says that trolley counts have been compounded by the impact of high numbers of healthcare workers testing positive for Covid-19.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) reported earlier this year that over 32% of Covid-19 infections were among nurses, and the IMO is now calling for plans to combat overcrowding in Irish hospitals. 

This, the INMO says, would allow for increased staffing in the context of high numbers of healthcare worker infections.

The INMO says the rising numbers of people without hospital beds are very concerning, particularly as the winter season begins.

INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: "We were told at the beginning of this pandemic that there would be a zero-tolerance policy toward overcrowding across the health service, to ensure hospitals were safe. 

"Unfortunately, we’re now seeing an average of 200 patients per day without beds, and the figures are climbing.

“This is highly dangerous at the best of times, but this year we simply cannot afford to accept this level of risk, for patients or for staff. We are over a month into the winter period and we’re seeing 4,500 patients per month on trolleys. 

We’re very concerned about how this will play out for the rest of the winter. We desperately need safe staffing levels across the entire service this winter if we want to keep staff and patients safe.

The INMO also stated they are in currently discussions at the Workplace Relations Commission regarding vacancies that must be filled within the UHL group, if plans to increase bed capacity there are to go ahead.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

logo podcast

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

IE logo

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

LOTTO RESULTS

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

  • 4
  • 11
  • 16
  • 21
  • 36
  • 40
  • 8

Full Lotto draw results »