THE University Hospital Limerick had the worst overcrowding in the country in September, according to the latest Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation figures.
The monthly figures reveal that a total of 784 people were being treated on trolleys at the Dooradoyle hospital, making it the worst September on record at the hospital for overcrowding.
This is a 42% increase on September 2014 figures, where 551 people were being treated on trolleys. It is also a 27% increase on last month’s overcrowding figures, where there were 618 on trolleys.
The INMO also issued trolley and ward figures for January 2015 to September 2015, which showed that UHL had the third worst overcrowding figures in the country, with 5,530 people on trolleys.
The lowest September figures were in 2008 with just 72 people on trolleys.
INMO secretary Liam Doran stated on Sunday evening that the overcrowding figures continue to increase, and that all welcome measures that have been put in place, locally and nationally, have failed to “address the critical issues of bed capacity, staffing and enhanced community supports.
“At this stage, our members are tired of promises that the situation will improve when it is actually getting worse.”
A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals group said that, as of July 31, there had been a year-on-year increase of 11.2% in the number of emergency admissions at UHL, adding that the temporary closure of an inpatient ward has reduced the number of available beds by 25. This is due to refurbishment work which is due to be completed in November.
Also in November, the hospital has secured agreement for additional funding to open 25 new beds, to support activity levels in the emergency department during the winter season.
The new emergency department in Dooradoyle is also due to open in the first quarter of 2017.