Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) display that University Hospital Limerick’s latest tally is the highest number since the watch began in 2006.
University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has set a new record for the highest number of patients waiting for a hospital bed, with 150 people on trolleys yesterday morning, Wednesday February 7.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have been tallying these numbers since 2006, noting that yesterday’s numbers have marked the highest number left waiting ever in the hospital.
Of the 150 waiting, 65 patients were waiting on trolleys in the Emergency Department (ED), and 85 patients were on trolleys elsewhere in the hospital.
INMO assistant director of industrial relations for the Midwest and Western regions, Mary Fogarty said: “We have seen overcrowding records broken three times in the space of two weeks in University Hospital Limerick, today being a new high with over 150 people admitted to the hospital without a bed.
“Since the beginning of January, over 2,573 patients have been admitted to UHL without a bed.
“These patients, no matter what their condition is, are placed on trolleys in all available spaces, on public corridors of the hospital, on ward corridors and in the Emergency Department, leading to a completely congested hospital with no patient movement to access an in-patient bed.”
Ms Fogarty added that the levels of “persistent overcrowding” are damaging moral among the nursing staff, “who are trying their best to provide safe patient care in an extremely trying environment.
“INMO members have repeatedly highlighted the conditions as unacceptable and dangerous for patients.
“When overcrowding is out of control, it is simply impossible to maintain patient safety and dignity,” she added.
The INMO has again called on the Health Service Executive (HSE) and UL Hospitals Group to take immediate targeted measures to ease overcrowding at UHL.
Cork University Hospital was the second most overcrowded hospital in the State at the time of these figures, with 60 patients waiting for beds, followed by University Hospital Galway, where 52 patients were waiting on trolleys.
Nationally, 710 patients were waiting for a bed at hospitals around the country yesterday morning.