Monthly number of patients on trolleys at Limerick hospital reaches all-time high for November

University Hospital Limerick

A LIMERICK hospital was at the top of the monthly list for number of patients on trolleys once again, with almost 2,000 patients waiting for in-hospital beds across the month.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), across the month of November, there were 1,962 patients admitted at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) waiting for an in-hospital bed.

This marks an 84 per cent increase on the same month in 2020, when there were 1,044 patients waiting on trolleys for a bed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is a 382 per cent increase on UHL figures from 2013 (399), and the highest number recorded by INMO for the month of November at any Irish hospital.

The next highest number of patients on trolleys in any hospital nationwide this November was 1,159 at Cork University Hospital.

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Last year, UHL also had the highest number of patients waiting in the ED and overflow wards for beds, when there were 1,596 on trolleys.

The national increase year on year, for all hospitals, stood at 196 per cent.

The trolley count is carried out and collated each weekday by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

Commenting on the level of overcrowding this November, INMO general secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “The sheer volume of patients who were admitted to hospitals without a bed this November are far too high.”

“The call has to be made now ahead of what is going to be a dangerous situation to curtail non-urgent elective activity and ensure that our private hospitals are available to assist. There is absolutely no point in waiting until we are mid-crisis to act.

“The current moratorium on recruitment which is predicted to get worse in the early part of next year will require further curtailment of services and the HSE must ensure that that is planned in order to avoid this continuous discommoding of patients on the day of procedures.”