Limerick hospital named most overcrowded in May

A doctor working in the overcrowded emergency department at UHL

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has again been named as the most overcrowded in the country, with figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives (INMO) Trolley Watch putting the number of patients on trolleys in May at 1,857 – the highest number for any May on record. 

The next most overcrowded hospital was University Hospital Cork where there were 1,310 admitted patients waiting on trolleys for an in-hospital bed.

Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has called for an immediate intervention to address the issue.

“The figures for the month (of May) have reached another unfortunate historic high of 1,857 people treated on trolleys. This is an average of 84 for every day recorded,” Deputy Quinlivan said.

“This is incredibly unfair on the staff working in these conditions and the patients and their families often not getting the health care they need or deserve.

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“The figures are going in the wrong direction every month and 2023 will be worse than the appalling 18,012 people treated on trolleys in 2022 if the Government doesn’t intervene decisively.

“Much more must be done to ensure patients are treated in safe conditions, in an appropriate time, and with the privacy and dignity any of us would expect. Despite the best efforts of staff, this just can’t be done in a hospital corridor.”

The criticism comes as the hospital issued a call-out to people with health issues to only come to the ED in cases of acute emergency.

The call is asking people with “less acute” conditions and concerns to make their GP, pharmacy, small injury clinics, or other out-of-hours doctor’s services the first port of call for advice over the bank holiday weekend.

However, the hospital stresses that anyone with serious or life threatening symptoms should contact the emergency services or go to the ED.