Almost 300 elderly patients left waiting on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Almost 300 elderly people were left waiting on trolleys in UHL early this year, figures revealed to TD Niall Collins have shown

Almost 300 elderly people were left waiting on trolleys in UHL early this year, figures revealed to TD Niall Collins have shown

ALMOST 300 elderly people were left waiting on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick earlier this year, figures revealed to TD Niall Collins have shown.

Data​ received by the Fianna Fail TD show that some 291 people, aged 75 or more, spent more than a day waiting on a trolley in UHL’s emergency department in January and February.

“This is wholly unacceptable. It’s bad for patients and their families, and it puts a major stress on health workers also. It stems from a major population imbalance between the country’s hospitals and hospital groups,” Mr Collins claimed.

He said UHL’s status does not match its needs, and the needs of the region.

“University Hospital Limerick is simply being asked to provide emergency 24/7 health services to more people, and in particular, more people over the age of 75 than other hospitals. We need to hear from the Government and the HSE as to how they will rectify this imbalance. It’s not fair on doctors, nurses and other members of staff who are working in the hospital and are trying to do their level best,” the TD added.

He said he doesn’t feel Limerick people can wait for the new 96-bed ward block approved at the hospital.

“Work needs to commence sooner on increasing the capacity of UHL,” he concluded.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that there were 67 patients on trolleys in the emergency department and on trolleys or beds in the wards at UHL, a figure which marked the highest in the country. Some 1,000 patients were treated on trolleys in March.