Munster has two of the country's five most overcrowded hospitals 

League table shows University Hospital Limerick ranked third with 207 patients languishing on trolleys, followed by Cork University Hospital with 178
Munster has two of the country's five most overcrowded hospitals 

The Irish Patient Association’s Stephen McMahon said these high figures were very concerning for patients. 'Some estimates suggest that one person per day dies because of overcrowding in our emergency departments,' he said. File picture

Munster had two of the top five most overcrowded hospitals last week, according to league table compiled by the Irish Patients Association.

The table, now in its third week, shows University Hospital Limerick ranked third with 207 patients languishing on trolleys, followed by Cork University Hospital with 178.

The most overcrowded hospital last week was Letterkenny University Hospital, which had 243 patients on trolleys, followed by Galway University Hospital with 233.

The table runs to 20 hospitals and builds on daily data collected by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

The Mercy University Hospital in Cork sits in 11th place with 74 patients on trolleys, and University Hospital Kerry, with 47 patients on trolleys, is in 16th place.

The table shows the Kerry hospital dropped 10 places from the week before when 106 patients were on trolleys. The Saolta hospital group in Connacht has the most hospitals in the table again, with five badly overcrowded. 

There were 36 children on trolleys at Temple Street hospital and 30 at Crumlin hospital in the last week, the table shows.

Figures very concerning

The Irish Patient Association’s Stephen McMahon said these high figures were very concerning for patients. “Some estimates suggest that one person per day dies because of overcrowding in our emergency departments,” he said.

"In addition, recent studies suggest that almost one in 12 patient admissions to our hospitals experience a preventable adverse result that can result in death and permanent injury.” 

The IPA is running a parallel honours table of hospitals with no patients on trolleys. Only Beaumont and Connolly achieved that over the past week. Both are in the RCSI Hospital Group.

Mr McMahon was critical of health authorities' focus on Covid-19, saying there is growing concern the pandemic is being used as “a whipping boy” to avoid dealing with more systemic problems.

“Overcrowding in our hospital emergency departments is unsafe for patients and unsafe for staff,” he said.

The league table is shared publicly to increase awareness of where solutions are being found, he said. “We have identified the regions associated with these hospitals to help focus on varying degrees of challenge which need to be explained. It appears that there is not an even distribution of overcrowding.” 

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