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The Gen Sec of the INMO. Leah Farrell
Trolley Watch

Worst August for hospital overcrowding since 2004, sparking fears for winter ahead

The INMO is of the view that the situation in Ireland’s hospitals is not being met with the “urgency or focus required”.

THE IRISH NURSES and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said that this has been the worst August for hospital overcrowding since it started counting trolleys in 2004, with over 9,720 patients admitted without a bed. 

The most overcrowded hospital in the country in the last month was University Hospital Limerick (1,885 patients without beds), followed by Cork University Hospital (984 patients), and University Hospital Galway (920 patients). 

The number of children who were admitted to hospitals without beds rose to 167 in August. 

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO General Secretary, said that there is “no doubt” that the rate of overcrowding indicates that this winter will continue the pattern of “difficult and dangerous times in our hospitals”. 

She stated that the “new so-called target” of no more than 320 people on trolleys set by the HSE was only achieved on five days so far this year. 

Ní Sheaghdha pointed out that the previous record of August overcrowding was set last year, and that the winter that followed “was honestly beyond what we could have imagined”. 

“Our members are worried, for themselves, and for their patients, about what is in store for them in the coming months,” she added. 

Ní Sheaghdha once again called on the Government to implement safe staffing legislation, so that hospitals have sufficient staff to diagnose, treat, and discharge patients safely, and so that “vulnerable people are not languishing on trolleys and chairs for days at a time”. 

The view of INMO, she added, is that the hospital overcrowding situation is not being met with “the required urgency or focus required”. 

“The constant state of overcrowding in our hospitals is a leading cause of nurses and midwives intending to leave their current work areas and indeed the professions altogether,” Ní Sheaghdha added. 

Any healthcare professionals experiencing overcrowding in their workplace, who have fears about the winter ahead can contact our reporter Eimer McAuley to speak anonymously about their experience by emailing

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