#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 14°C Wednesday 22 September 2021

"Deplorable overcrowding": Dozens on trolleys in Limerick hospital

The INMO said today that the Major Emergency Plan should have been implemented at the hospital today, with 47 people on trolleys in the Emergency Department this morning.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE IRISH NURSES AND Midwives Organisation (INMO) is calling for the implementation of the Major Emergency Plan at University Hospital Limerick after 47 patients who were admitted in the last 24 to 48 hours were left waiting on trolleys this morning.

The INMO said the plan should have been used by management at the hospital and claimed at least an extra 70 acute beds are needed at the hospital to cope. Though the plan, by definition, is designed to be used in the event of a major emergency, the union said it should be activated once the level of overcrowding at a hospital peaks.

It appealed to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to take action in respect of the “consistent and deplorable overcrowding” in the hospital’s Emergency Department, pointing out that a €2 million investment could put 30 beds in place, in time for winter pressures.

“There is no doubt that this level of overcrowding is causing poor outcomes for patients and a totally unacceptable work environment for staff,” commented industrial relations officer Mary Fogarty. “An urgent and implementable action plan is required, with robust management of same, if this hospital is to survive the winter without inflicting more harm on patients.”

Earlier today, the INMO also criticised conditions at Mullingar Regional Hospital, claiming nursing staff are working long hours without a break in “an overcrowded and clinically dangerous environment”.

Minister Varadkar said recently that he is aware of the problems in hospital emergency departments and looks at trolley figure three times a day.

“The figures are much worse than this time last year because demand has soared, and he’s concerned that it will get worse this winter, especially if there is an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug or similar,” a spokesperson told TheJournal.ie earlier this month.

He is due to meet with INMO representative closer to Christmas to discuss how best to handle the pressure on resources during that busy time.

Read: ‘Overcrowded and clinically dangerous’: Nurses criticise conditions at Mullingar hospital>

More: Galway nurses to protest ‘severe overcrowding’ in Emergency Department>

Read: ‘Winter is coming’ and nurses say Irish hospitals are not prepared>

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel