Overcrowding in hospitals sees 529 patients on trolleys, says INMO

ireland
Overcrowding In Hospitals Sees 529 Patients On Trolleys, Says Inmo Overcrowding In Hospitals Sees 529 Patients On Trolleys, Says Inmo
88 patients in Cork University Hospital are on trolleys – a new overcrowding record for the hospital. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
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Fiachra Gallagher

There are 529 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals at present, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

88 patients in Cork University Hospital are on trolleys – a new overcrowding record for the hospital.

After Cork, University Hospital Limerick is the second most crowded hospital in the country currently, with 73 patients waiting on a bed.

University Hospital Galway has 42 patients on trolleys, while St. Luke's Kilkenny and Letterkenny University Hospital have 38 and 31 patients waiting respectively.

Speaking on the news, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, general secretary of the INMO, said: “Today is another worrying day in the Irish health service with over 529 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals. We are on a very dangerous path to unprecedented hospital overcrowding this winter and beyond.

“Budget 2023 needs to be ambitious when it comes to increasing capacity but also ensuring that beds are not just open in a vacuum and staffed adequately.

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“Our daily trolley figures indicate a real problem all across the western seaboard and the midwest. Nurses in these hospitals are incredibly burnt out and indicating that they are working in unsafe staffing situations before the worst of the winter has even hit.

“The INMO will now seek to engage with the relevant health and safety authorities such as the HSA and HIQA. We will be seeking that fire officers inspect areas with high overcrowding.

Commenting on the issue in Cork University Hospital, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Liam Conway said:

“The situation in Cork University Hospital is completely unworkable for our members who are currently trying to offer care in intolerable circumstances, with over 88 patients without a bed in the hospital today.

“The bed deficit that currently exists in both CUH and the community is completely unacceptable.

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“There is no real or meaningful plan to support the CUH Emergency Department and its surrounds when it comes to increasing bed capacity in the months ahead. Urgent engagement is required to ensure that discharge facilities are available in the community.

“A bespoke taskforce is now needed to tackle the ongoing issues in Cork University Hospital. Our members in CUH will not tolerate another winter where they are exposed to excessive workloads which leads to excessive burnout.”

On Tuesday, following the announcement of Budget 2023, Ms Ní Sheaghdha called for more clarity on how the €23 billion healthcare package will be spent.

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