UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has set a new record as 81 patients are being treated on trolleys in its emergency department and wards this Wednesday morning.
According to figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation this Wednesday, there were 52 patients on trolleys in the emergency department and 29 patients on trolleys or additional beds in the wards.
This is the first time UHL has broken the national record since March 22, 2013 when there were 80 patients on trolleys.
It is the fourth time that UHL has set a new overcrowding record for 2019.
INMO industrial relations officer, Mary Fogarty said that staff and patients are "under intolerable pressure" at UHL this Wednesday.
“This is the worst ever figure we've recorded in an Irish hospital.
"This comes less than a week after a 17-bed ward in UHL was shut. The beds that have been closed in UHL need to be reopened immediately.
"We are calling on the Minister to intervene and deal with the chronic overcrowding in the hospital as an urgent matter of patient and staff safety.”
Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan said: “This is absolutely appalling. This is the highest ever recorded at UHL. It is a shocking indictment of this government’s health policy."
UL Hospitals Group said it is appealing to the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the emergency department at UHL.
"There has been a surge in presentations to emergency departments around the country in recent days and the ED at UHL is currently managing high volumes of patients including significant volumes of frail elderly patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs.
"UL Hospitals apologises for any inconvenience caused to patients or their loved ones who have experienced long wait times in the ED at UHL, and we would like to reassure patients and their families that we are working to alleviate the situation."
"Members of the public are urged to consider all their care options at this time and not to attend the Emergency Department unless necessary. Injury Units in St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals are open for appropriate injuries. Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John's Hospital.
"Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
"However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority," a spokesperson has said this Wednesday afternoon.