Hospital overcrowding so bad that they ran out of trolleys

Mary Fogarty, INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations

THE level of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) earlier this week was so bad that every trolly was occupied and patients were forced to sit on chairs for a number of days.

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) MidWest official Mary Fogarty said that some patients were unable to lie down as record levels of overcrowding were set at the hospital on two occasions.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s  ‘Drivetime’ programme, Ms Fogarty said nurses working in the hospital are “embarrassed” to go to work and witness the levels of overcrowding.

“It presents several risks to patients and staff,”she added.

INMO have called on the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to investigate the situation at UHL and also called for direct intervention from the HSE and the Minister for Health.

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“Time and time again, our members have called for real and meaningful action to curb the overcrowding crisis in our hospitals.

“We cannot go back to business as usual in our hospitals as society begins to reopen. Non-emergency care must be curtailed in our hospitals until the end of February to allow nurses and midwives to have some chance of doing their jobs safely,” INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said.