Nurses say overcrowding has spread Covid in Limerick hospital

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Mary Fogarty, INMO
INMO Limerick representative Mary Fogarty

THE Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has blamed overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) for contributing to the spread of Covid-19.

INMO representative for Limerick Mary Fogarty was speaking in the wake of a national record number of 111 patients waiting on trolleys  for hospital beds in UHL recently.

“Patients are being compromised,” she said of the situation with soaring trolley figures.

“Covid likes crowded spaces and we have a high levels of hospital-acquired Covid cases at UHL,” she said.

Responding to the statement, a hospital spokesperson said: “We would like to reassure the public that management and staff at UHL are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19, in order to protect all patients and staff from the disease.

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“We remain especially vigilant in view of the relaxation of public health restrictions, and continue to follow all national guidance on the disease.”

He said the hospital operates separate streams for Covid and non-Covid patients.

“While crowding in healthcare settings can be a factor in outbreaks of Covid-19 in those facilities, it is also the case that outbreaks of the disease in UHL have occurred mostly in the multi-occupancy ‘nightingale’ wards in the older parts of the hospital.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have added 98 single rooms at UHL, which offer the highest standards in infection prevention.”