80% increase in patients on trolleys at Limerick hospital

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

UHL: Highest ever number of patients on trolleys in month of June
NEW figures reveal that the University Hospital Limerick has had its highest ever level of overcrowding in the month of June this year, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

NEW figures reveal that the University Hospital Limerick has had its highest ever level of overcrowding in the month of June this year, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

Statistics published on Monday showed that 653 people had to be accommodated on trolleys at UHL in June 2015, which is an 80% increase when compared to June 2014.

In the June trolley watch report in 2006, it was recorded that only 88 people had to stay on trolleys.

Nationally for the month of June, UHL has the fourth highest rate of people on trolleys, trailing behind University Hospital Galway with 670, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda with 728 and Beaumont Hospital with 757.

Since the INMO figures began in 2004, the lowest rate of overcrowding in the month of June at UHL was in 2007, when just 12 people were accommodated on trolleys.

Nationally, a total of 7,775 people were on trolleys this June, which is a 51% increase when compared to figures for June 2014.

INMO secretary Liam Doran said that the figures released this week are “truly shocking”, adding that they also reveal the “excessive workloads on nursing staff”.

“It must now be recognised, and acknowledged, that what has been done to date, however desirable and well intentioned, has failed to address the problem which continues to grow. This is the worst June, in terms of overcrowding, since the INMO began counting trolleys in 2004.

“In order to address this crisis, ahead of the winter period, the government must allocate emergency funding which must be ongoing. This must allow for the additional bed capacity, and staff, required to care for admitted patients, in a safe and dignified way, as the current situation is deplorable and cannot continue,” he said.

In this year’s May trolley watch report, 538 people were on trolleys at the University Hospital Limerick. Though it was more than the number in May 2014, the highest level of overcrowding in any May since 2006 was in 2013, with 755 people.