Limerick hospital was worst for overcrowding in November

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick (UHL) was the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland last month with 1,596 patients left without a bed during what was the worst November on record for hospital overcrowding.

12,624 people have been without beds in Irish hospitals this month, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) TrolleyWatch figures. This included 563 children.

With UHL topping the list, Cork University was the second most overcrowded hospital with 1,334 patients left without beds. They were followed by Letterkenny (1,108), Sligo 783 and Galway (703).

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said there were only two days this month where there were fewer than 500 people admitted to hospital without an inpatient bed.

“We are seeing acute problems with hospital overcrowding in the Midwest and along the Western seaboard. Our members expect the HSE and the Government to treat this issue as the emergency it is and meet with the INMO to address the issues we have raised as immediately necessary to maintain safe care this winter.

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“We do not want to be put in a position where care is compromised due to inaction from Government and the HSE,” Ms Ní Sheaghdha declared.

Meanwhile Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan, has called for an immediate intervention to address the high number of patients being treated on trolleys at UHL.

“The figures for the month have reached a historic high of 1,596 people treated on trolleys, compared to last November when 1,358 people were without beds.

“We are in the midst of winter and the flu season. More must be done to ensure patients are treated in optimal conditions and with the privacy and dignity any of us would expect. Despite the best efforts of staff, this just cannot be done in a hospital corridor.

“The Minister for Health seems incapable or unwilling to address the crisis. His winter plan was launched too late and has failed to deliver for patients at UHL,” Deputy Quinlivan added.