Over 1,000 patients treated on trolleys as Limerick overcrowding crisis continues

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

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Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Over 1,000 patients treated on trolleys as Limerick overcrowding crisis continues

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick was again the worst hospital in the country for overcrowding in March, as more than 1,000 patients were treated on trolleys, monthly figures show. 

According to the statistics, released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 1,022 patients on emergency department trolleys and on additional trolleys or beds in the wards at the Dooradoyle facility last month. 

This was the highest ever figure recorded for any March since records began. In March 2017, there were 699 patients on trolleys at UHL. 

The lowest ever March overcrowding was recorded in 2007, with just 42 patients on trolleys. 

This Monday, UHL had 54 patients on trolleys, which was again the highest in the country. This follows two weeks of major overcrowding, where most days had 60 or more patients on trolleys. 

Reacting to the figures, Mary Fogarty, industrial relations officer for the INMO said: “There is an urgent need for additional nursing staff and more beds.  Patient safety and clinical care is compromised due to the inability of the hospital to retain and recruit nurses with 60 nursing vacancies currently confirmed.”

This comes after a number of Limerick TDs condemned Minister for Health Simon Harris for his “abject failure” in handling the current overcrowding crisis.