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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 28 February, 2020

'Worst October ever': Over 9,000 patients forced to wait on trolleys this month

The INMO has said the health service “simply does not have capacity to cope” with demand.

The INMO said with winter approaching the situation is going to get much worse.
The INMO said with winter approaching the situation is going to get much worse.
Image: Shutterstock/Beer5020

THIS IS THE worst October on record for hospital overcrowding according to nurses.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has released its monthly trolley watch report today, which shows 9,055 admitted patients were forced to wait on trolleys and chairs for beds this month. That’s 1,000 more than in September

The body tallies the number of patients waiting on beds in hospitals around the country each day and has done so since 2006. This month’s figure is more than twice as much as the first October recorded by the union.

According to the INMO University Hospital Limerick had over 1,045 patients on trolleys, the highest in the country. The figure is the equivalent of Limerick’s total bed capacity twice over. 

The figures come less than a day after the Irish Medical Organisation warned of a “perfect storm of over 1,000 people on trolleys this winter. 

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the statistics cannot express the hardships being faced by patients on trolleys: 

Over 9,000 patients forced to wait on trolleys and it’s not even peak winter season. Figures like these do not adequately express the hardship endured by patients who find themselves in these circumstances. The negative health impacts of this overcrowding are known, yet this is not addressed as a national priority. 

Ní Sheaghdha said, “our current health service simply does not have the capacity to cope”.

She once again highlighted that low pay is driving the low numbers of staff willing to work in the health service. 

The INMO said 5 hospitals saw over 500 patients on trolleys this month:

  • University Hospital Galway: 716
  • Cork University Hospital: 647
  • Letterkenny University Hospital: 572
  • Mater University Hospital: 519
  • University Hospital Waterford: 512

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