University Hospital Limerick is not worst in trolley crisis

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UHL
University Hospital Limerick

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick, which has been under sustained fire for the numbers waiting on trolleys for in-hospital beds, does not have the worst record when taken from a patient/bed capacity viewpoint.

An analysis of figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation rates the Limerick Hospital as having the worst median (middle-point between lowest and highest) figure at 619 per month for patients on trolleys needing admission in the last five years.

But figures for total hospital bed numbers supplied by the HSE, gives a different result.

Using the patient to capacity ratio, the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore has the highest ratio of patients on trolleys for 2013 to 2017. South Tipperary General Hospital and Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise have the next highest ratios.

Trolley numbers were in the spotlight again this week, with Limerick again have the highest numbers on Tuesday and Wednesday, at 66 and 64 respectively, according to INMO figures.

A spokeswoman for University Hospital Limerick told the Limerick Post that the figures for Wednesday, according to the HSE’s own Trolleygar, were 48 at noon.

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“This included nine patients who were appropriately isolated in single rooms in the emergency department for proper infection prevention and control,” the spokeswoman told the Limerick Post.  

Speaking about the national picture on Wednesday, INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “Hospitals are still in crisis and we are now calling on the HSE to continue curtailment of services to ensure figures do not escalate  again this week and to allow hospitals deal with the current high numbers.

“The INMO has sought confirmation that all  hospitals are adhering to the escalation policy and will be advising again re the health and safety obligations of the employer in situations where workplaces are overcrowded and pose risks to staff”.

The UHL spokeswoman said that the UL Hospitals Group has seen a sustained increase in attendances year to date.  

“Prior to Storm Emma, the increase in attendances was up 17 per cent and this created significant pressure for beds.

“The numbers of patients attending the emergency department following the severe weather has been very high, with very ill patients increasing the number requiring admittance to a ward”.

More about health here.