University Hospital Limerick has 76 patients waiting on trolleys - just four shy of worst ever tally

Overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick, file photo
By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

There were 76 admitted patients awaiting a hospital bed in University Hospital Limerick today - the highest in the county, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

Every morning INMO members count how many patients are waiting in the Emergency Department for a bed and how many are waiting in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

The two other worst-hit hospitals were Cork University Hospital that had 41 patients waiting and University Hospital Galway that had 34.

INMO figures show that UHL recorded the highest annual figure of patients awaiting beds over the last three years - 11,437 last year, 8,869 last year and 8,090 in 2016.

There were 80 patients waiting for beds at UHL on March 12 last year, the highest ever figure recorded by the INMO since 2006.

Minister of State at the Department of Heath, Finian McGrath, told the Dáil last month that funding to allow a new 60-bed block at UHL would be provided this year.

Independent TD, Dr Michael Harty, is concerned that the project may be delayed because of the massive cost overrun on the national children's hospital.

Altogether, INMO members counted 557 admitted patients waiting for beds, 394 were waiting in the hospital's ED while 163 were in wards.

According to the HSE's TrolleyGAR that only counts admitted trolley waiters in EDs there were 399 waiting, with 224 waiting over nine hours and 80 waiting over 24 hours.

The HSE's latest figure represents an increase of almost 8% on trolley waiters last year when there were 370, with 197 waiting over nine hours.

According to the HSE UHL had 42 patients on trolleys - the highest number, with 30 waiting over nine hours and 14 over 24 hours.

The HSE recorded 19 admitted patients on trolleys in Cork University Hospital, with eight waiting over nine hours. University Hospital Galway had 34, the second highest number, followed by the Mater Hospital in Dublin that had 28.

Most Read in Ireland