Limerick hospital sets new record for overcrowding with 92 patients on trolleys

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

BREAKING: Limerick hospital sets new record for overcrowding with 92 patients on trolleys

According to the INMO, there are 92 patients on trolleys at UHL

MORE than 90 patients are on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick this Monday – making it the worst day on record for overcrowding.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 760 admitted patients are going without beds in hospitals across the country – the worst-ever figure since records began.

The previous worst-ever day was March 12, 2018 during the Beast from the East, when 714 patients went without beds.

According to the INMO, University Hospital Limerick has also broken the daily record for an individual hospital, with 92 patients on trolleys. The previous highest figure was 85 (November 25, 2019) - also at UHL.

There are 56 patients on trolleys at Cork University Hospital, 47 at University Hospital Galway and 40 at South Tipperary Hospital.

The INMO is calling for a major incident protocol to be adopted across the country, as was done in March 2018. This would likely see all non-emergency admissions stopped, electives cancelled, and extra bed capacity sourced from the private and public sectors.

The union is also calling for an infection control plan, as overcrowding increases infection risks.

“Ireland’s beleaguered health service continues to break records in the worst possible way. Our members are working in impossible conditions to provide the best care they can,” said Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO general secretary.

“The excuse that this is all down to the flu simply doesn’t hold. There are always extra patients in winter, but we simply do not get the extra capacity to cope. This is entirely predictable, yet we seemingly fail to deal with it every year. The government need to immediately initiate a major incident protocol. We need to cancel elective surgeries, stop non-emergency admissions, and source extra capacity wherever we can,” she added.