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29 Sept 2022

Limerick hospital records highest number of patients on trolleys in July

Limerick Hospital records highest number of patients on trolleys in July

UHL recorded the highest number of patients on trolleys nationwide in the month of July

NURSES are in fear of an impending ‘twindemic’ this winter as University Hospital Limerick (UHL) records the highest national figures for those on trolleys in the month of July.

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) Director of Professional Services Tony Fitzpatrick warned that the level of hospital overcrowding seen throughout this summer “has been a cause of serious concern.”

Over 9,191 patients went without a bed in the month of July, a 52% increase on July 2021. UHL contributed to 1,268 of these patients, making it the most overcrowded hospital in July. 

“Unless we see a hospital-by-hospital plan to tackle overcrowding, we are in for a very bleak winter in Irish hospitals which will see nurses and patients in extremely unsafe circumstances,” the INMO Director of Professional Services continued.

 He stressed that Ireland needs to heed the warnings from colleagues in Australia, when it comes to mitigating the impact of both flu and COVID in Irish hospitals over the coming months.

“We cannot afford to have a COVID and flu ‘twindemic’ in Irish hospitals this winter. Vaccinations for both COVID and flu should be offered to healthcare workers as soon as possible,” he added.

Mr Fitzpatrick highlighted that nurses and other healthcare staff cannot be expected to sustain “this type of pressure” right into the winter.

"If the Government and HSE are serious about retaining those who already work in the health service, meaningful action must be taken to ensure safe care conditions for both patients and staff.

“No nurse wants to have to care for patients in sub-optimal conditions,” he concluded.

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