SIX months on from 11,000 people taking to the streets of Limerick City in protest over the ongoing overcrowding crisis, University Hospital Limerick has today topped the hospital overcrowding charts countrywide for the 50th consecutive day.
That’s according to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) Trolley Watch, which is published each weekday, culminating in today (Thursday July 27) seeing 99 admitted patients waiting on trolleys for a bed at the Limerick hospital.
INMO keeps a daily national tab on weekdays of the number of patients who have been admitted to hospital having been seen in the ED and who are waiting for an in-hospital bed.
Those patients who are sick enough to need in-hospital treatment but who have to wait on trolleys in the ED or in overflow wards and other areas are counted on weekday mornings by INMO members in each of the country’s hospitals. The numbers are not counted at weekends, meaning the actual number of consecutive days UHL has held the grim title may be marginally higher.
According to INMO figures, UHL has now been the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland on 50 consecutive counted days since May 18.
This Thursday morning, there were 99 patients admitted and being treated on trolleys or overflow wards while awaiting a bed – the highest number on the 50-day run so far.
The INMO has consistently warned that the situation is one which is putting undue stress on staff and patients and has labelled it a dangerous situation for both, one which puts lives at risk.
UHL management has previously acknowledged that the overcrowding is an ongoing problem and has pointed to the lack of capacity to cope with rising demands as the main issue.
Work is currently underway on a new 96-bed block for the hospital and plans for a further 96-bed block have been fast-tracked in order to help deal with the ongoing overcrowding crisis at UHL.
University Hospital Limerick and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation have been asked for comment.