Overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick is 'out of control'

The INMO has called for direct ministerial intervention to tackle the issue
Overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick is 'out of control'

It comes as the union released the latest trolley figures, which found 70 patients were waiting for beds in the Limerick hospital.

Calls have been made for an independent review into the "out of control" overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said that direct ministerial intervention is needed to tackle the problem.

It comes as the union released the latest trolley figures, which found 70 patients were waiting for beds in the Limerick hospital.

In total, 428 patients are waiting for beds in hospitals around the country. 333 patients are waiting in the emergency department, while 95 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

UHL is the worst hit today, followed by Letterkenny University Hospital (61) and Cork University Hospital (45).

The INMO said that since the beginning of November, 891 patients have been on trolleys in UHL.

General Secretary of the INMO, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said the situation “is out of control”.

“The INMO is once again calling for HIQA to investigate what is going on in the hospital and make clear recommendations.

“The overall picture in our hospitals is a bleak one. Covid cases and hospitalisations are at a dangerous level and this is coupled with the number of patients on trolleys in many hospitals at pre-pandemic levels.

“The HSE and Minister for Health have both stated that overcrowding won’t be tolerated, yet here we are with 428 people on trolleys today. It is not acceptable when so many nurses are out on Covid related leave.” 

Mary Fogarty, the INMO’s Assistant Director of Industrial Relations said the morale of members is at a low ebb.

“When our members sounded the alarm on persistently dangerous overcrowding coupled with Covid-19 back in July, we called for direct ministerial intervention, which Minister Donnelly at the time stated was not required. 

The situation in Limerick has worsened since we first made the call.

“Despite 100 extra beds opening in Limerick this year, it has made no dent in the record overcrowding. Our members are at their wits’ end and their morale is on the floor.” 

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said that the HSE and Minister for Health should curtail elective procedures in our acute hospitals and come to an agreement to obtain capacity from private hospitals.

“Our members have been fire-fighting on so many fronts since January 2020, the State must do everything we can to ensure that they are carrying out their duties in a safe environment.”

More in this section

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

Execution Time: 0.268 s