92 people on trolleys in Limerick the highest ever recorded in an Irish hospital

University Hospital Limerick

ON the “worst-ever day” for trolley overcrowding in Ireland since records have been kept, University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has broken the record for the most patients on trolleys in a single day.

In the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) trolley count which saw 760 admitted patients going without beds in Ireland’s hospitals this morning, Monday, January 6 – the highest ever recorded – UHL saw 92 patients waiting on trolleys, setting a new record for a daily-count record for a single hospital.

The previous highest count was also set by UHL with a figure of 85 people set back in November 2019.

The INMO is calling for a major incident protocol to be adopted across the country, as was done in March 2018. This would likely see all non-emergency admissions stopped, electives cancelled, and extra bed capacity sourced from the private and public sectors.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said, “Ireland’s beleaguered health service continues to break records in the worst possible way. Our members are working in impossible conditions to provide the best care they can.

“The excuse that this is all down to the flu simply doesn’t hold. There are always extra patients in winter, but we simply do not get the extra capacity to cope. This is entirely predictable, yet we seemingly fail to deal with it every year.

“The government need to immediately initiate a major incident protocol. We need to cancel elective surgeries, stop non-emergency admissions, and source extra capacity wherever we can.

“We also need to immediately scrap the HSE’s counterproductive recruitment pause, which is leaving these services understaffed and thus overcrowded.

“Behind these numbers are hundreds of individual vulnerable patients – it is a simply shameful situation. This is entirely preventable if proper planning was in place.”

The worst-hit hospitals in Ireland include:

  • University Hospital Limerick – 92
  • Cork University Hospital – 56
  • University Hospital Galway – 47
  • South Tipperary General Hospital – 40