UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has broken its own record of overcrowding in a list of the country’s most overcrowded hospitals for the month of January according to figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
1,180 waited patients on trolleys for an in-hospital bed having been admitted through UHL’s emergency department in January.
INMO’s figures showed a steady increase in overcrowding in most hospitals, including UHL.
304 patients waited for a bed in January 2006, when the union began recording trolley numbers. The 2023 figure now represents a 288 per cent increase.
UHL patients were among 11,289 patients countrywide in January who had to wait on trolleys after being declared sick enough to warrant admission.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that a lack of adequate planning put unnecessary stress on nurses and the patients throughout the month of January.
“The number of patients on trolleys in wards outside emergency departments have been unacceptably high. This practice should not be allowed to continue as a measure to try take pressure off our emergency departments.
“According to two recent opinion polls, over 75 per cent of people would not visit an emergency department. The strategy of telling people to not attend hospital will have knock-on effects across the health service for months to come,” Ms Ní Sheaghdha added.