Record levels of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick

There are a total of 66 patients either on trolleys or on wards awaiting admission to a bed at University Hospital Limerick, some of the highest figures ever seen at a single hospital in Ireland.

There are 37 patients in the emergency department and 29 on wards, according to the figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation.

In a statement, University Hospital Limerick said it has one of the busiest emergency departments in the country, with over “60,000 attendances annually.”

The hospital group said it “regretted that any patient had to face long waits during busy periods.”

It also stated that “additional nursing and medical staff have been recruited to the ED to support this increased activity”.

The hospital has had the worst record in the country for overcrowding in recent weeks.

Last month, a man in his 60s spent 52 hours on a trolley in the hospital’s emergency department.

Nationally, 456 patients were waiting for admission to hospital on Monday morning. After Limerick, University Hospital Galway had the worst overcrowding, with 30 patients on trolleys and 13 on wards awaiting a bed.

The peak in overcrowding in Limerick is the highest seen since October 2011, when 58 patients were on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on one particular day.

The University of Limerick Hospitals Group said that a new emergency department, triple the size of the existing one,  is being fitted and is due to open in May 2017.

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