Last month 'the worst September on record' for patients without beds at Cork hospitals

Some 1,260 people waited on trolleys at CUH over the course of last month
Last month 'the worst September on record' for patients without beds at Cork hospitals

88 patients without beds at CUH's emergency department last Wednesday - a one-day record. File Picture Clare Keogh

Last month was the worst September on record in terms of patients without beds at Cork University Hospital (CUH) and at Cork's Mercy Hospital. 

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, some 1,260 people waited on trolleys at CUH over the course of last month, the majority at the emergency department. A further 411 patients waited on trolleys at the Mercy.

"We've been recording trolley fingers back to 2006 and September that's just gone is the worst on record," said Colm Porter, assistant director of industrial relations at the INMO. 

Addressing the issues at CUH specifically, Mr Porter said the hospital simply "does not have enough beds to keep up with demand."

As regards the Mercy, he said no other September total recorded by the INMO comes close to the 411 seen at the hospital last month. 

"And then there's obviously the separate issue as well with with discharge into the community, there's not enough capacity to discharge people into the community or into private hospitals." 

From a staffing perspective, Mr Porter said those working at CUH's emergency department were "up against it". He said the fact that there were 88 patients without beds there last Wednesday - a one-day record - was evidence of this. 

"They are obviously under severe pressure. And the most important thing to them is to be able to provide safe patient care. And because of the environment that they're working in, it's pretty challenging."

National picture

Just five of the country's hospitals did not record a single patient waiting on a trolley this morning. File Picture
Just five of the country's hospitals did not record a single patient waiting on a trolley this morning. File Picture

A total of 555 patients were waiting for beds in hospitals around the country this morning — an increase of 105 since Friday. 

As of 8am this morning, there were 482 people without beds in emergency departments (EDs) and 73 patients were waiting on other hospital wards, according to the latest INMO figures.

The highest individual totals were at Cork University Hospital (CUH) and University Hospital Limerick (UHL), both of which had 74 patients waiting on trolleys.

At UHL, 53 patients were waiting in the ED and 21 were waiting elsewhere in the hospital, while all of the patients without beds at CUH were in its emergency department.

A further 49 patients were waiting on a bed at University Hospital Galway - 45 in the ED and four on other wards.

St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin and St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny had 43 and 42 patients without beds, respectively.

Just five of the country's hospitals did not record a single patient waiting on a trolley this morning.

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