University Hospital Limerick has 20% of country’s patients on trolleys

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

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Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

University Hospital Limerick has 20% of country’s patients on trolleys

TWENTY percent of Ireland’s overcrowding problem is at University Hospital Limerick, according to daily trolley figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. 

The statistics show that there were 63 patients on trolleys in the emergency department and on extra trolleys or beds in the wards at the Dooradoyle hospital this Monday morning.

In total, there were 315 patients on trolleys across the country. 

The next highest on the list are Cork University Hospital and St Vincent’s University Hospital with 25 and 22 patients on trolleys, respectively. 

INMO publishes daily trolley figures on most acute hospital across the country. There are 32 hospitals on this list. 

Only three hospitals across the country have more than 20 patients on trolleys. 

The Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) is one of the busiest in the country and the numbers presenting continues to increase year on year. 

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said a number of patients presenting include frail, elderly patients with complex care needs. 

On Friday, there were 65 patients on trolleys at UHL.

In a statement on Friday, she said in the past week, “a high proportion” required a bed. 

She said there was also an “unusually high number” of patients requiring surgery after being presented to the emergenecy department between Thursday and Friday. 

“These patients require a surgical admission or intervention before they can be discharged.  This has added additional pressure for beds across all our sites.

“We regret that any of our patients have to face long waits in our ED during busy periods and any distress or inconvenience this causes to patients and their loved ones,” she added.

“Overcrowding is a whole-hospital issue and not an issue strictly for the ED. A multi-faceted approach is required to tackle overcrowding, encompassing additional bed capacity, improved patient flow, the development of integrated care programmes with community services – all of which are being addressed by the Group.”

The spokesperson said a number of measures have been put in place, including the transfer of patients to other hospitals in the Mid-West; transfer of patients to community care settings; maximising access to homecare packages; working closely with community intervention teams; and communication with GPs. 

“In addition, elective procedures are reviewed daily as we prioritise inpatient beds for those patients waiting in the ED. All patients affected are contacted and their appointments rescheduled as quickly as possible.”