UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has matched the national record for the number of patients on trolleys for a third time this Monday morning.
According to figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 81 patients being treated on trolleys this Monday morning.
UHL set a new record on April 3 this year when there were 81 patients on trolleys. On July 11, UHL matched that record again.
The INMO has said that it is already the worst September on record, since records began in 2006, with a week still remaining.
The INMO has called on the HSE to make a "high-level" intervention to curtail services to clear overcrowding, end the "recruitment ban", immediately offer full-time contracts to graduating nurses and midwives, and open a review into the ongoing crisis at UHL.
INMO industrial relations officer for Limerick, Mary Fogarty, said: “This is a matter of public safety. Eighty-one patients on trolleys is what you’d expect after a natural disaster, not on an ordinary Monday.
“It’s time for direct, high-level HSE intervention. Services should be curtailed immediately to clear this overcrowding. At the root of this is understaffing. There are a hundred unfilled nursing posts at the hospital, and the HSE are not allowing management to recruit graduating nurses and midwives. The recruitment ban has got to go.
“Our members are looking to winter with a sense of dread. If this is what’s happening in temperate months, things can only get worse as accidents and illnesses increase in colder weather.”