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There were over 50,000 people on hospital trolleys in the first six months of 2017

The INMO said that this was further evidence that our health service “simply cannot cope with the demands”.

Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE NUMBER OF people on trolleys in emergency departments is at the highest rate on record for the first six months of the year, according to the latest trolley watch figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

In total, 51,321 people admitted for care were on trolleys in A&E departments or wards from January to June of this year.

This is 6% higher than the 2016 figures, and around 700 people higher than the previous high reached in 2015. INMO figures begin in 2006.

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said that the figures “represent further evidence that our health service, through inadequate bed and staffing levels, simply cannot cope with the demands being placed on it”.

In June, there were 7,124 patients on trolleys, which is an increase of 21% on the month in 2016.

The most overcrowded hospitals last month were University Hospital Limerick (640 people), University Hospital Galway (566) and the Mater Hospital Dublin (532).

The INMO figures show that, while the number of people on trolleys in Dublin declined over the year so far, “a significant increase has taken place in hospitals outside of Dublin”.

It claims that “severe nursing staff shortages” in recent weeks had a negative impact on patient care and created “intolerable working conditions for staff” in emergency departments and on wards.

The INMO is calling for immediate steps to be taken to address the current levels of overcrowding.

TheJournal.ie has asked the HSE for comment.

Read: How Ireland’s hospitals are massaging the numbers of people on trolleys

Read: There has actually been a slight drop in people on hospital trolleys this year

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Sean Murray

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