UHL topping list of overcrowded hospitals ‘on an almost daily basis’

University Hospital Limerick

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick (UHL) had the worst level of overcrowding every day in the country throughout the month of April, with the exception of two days.

A total of 1,206 patients waited for a hospital bed in UHL during a month which saw the hospital record the highest-ever daily figure of patients waiting on trolleys, when 81 people were left waiting for a bed on Wednesday, April 3.

During April, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) recorded trolley figures for a total of 20 days, due to bank holidays and weekends, with UHL at the summit of such overcrowding figures for 18 of those days.

“We are seeing UHL at the top of the list of overcrowded hospitals on an almost daily basis,” said INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mary Fogarty.

“The number of people waiting for beds hasn’t been under 40 any day this month [speaking in April], meaning our members in Limerick are treating dozens of patients every day in corridors and in unsafe conditions.

“Serious recognition and investment are required to get the situation under control, so that patients can get the care they need and our members can work in a safe environment,” she added.

In total, 10,229 admitted patients were forced to wait without hospital beds in April, a situation that is being described as a ‘worsening crisis’.

“This is the second month in 2019 where over 10,000 patients have been forced to wait without a bed,” said INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha.

“The crisis is without question worsening. Overcrowding hits two main groups directly: those who depend on public health services and those who work in them, providing the safest care they can in these conditions.

“We started the trolley count over a decade ago because of unacceptable overcrowding. The problem has more than doubled since then,” she noted.

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