Hospital Trolley Overcrowding Rises To Over 9,000 In March

Over 9,000 patients were waiting on trolleys for hospital beds in March this year, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

The latest Trolley/Ward Watch analysis recorded 9,381 people were awaiting admission for in-patient treatment.

While this represents a 5% increase compared to the same period last year, it is a 100% increase in trolley overcrowding when compared to March 2008 (4,701 patients).

Hospitals that suffered the worst overcrowding included:

• Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore up from 204 to 568 (+ 364).

• South Tipperary General Hospital up from 233 to 552 (+ 319).

• University Hospital Limerick up from 558 to 710 (+ 152).

• Cork University Hospital up from 412 to 550 (+ 138).

• Bantry General Hospital up from 39 to 146 (+ 107).

INMO said the figures show the service 'continues to face intolerable levels of overcrowding' due to a continuing lack of beds and staff.

General Secretary, Liam Doran, said: "Once again our Trolley/Ward Watch figures confirm the overcrowding crisis, facing the health service, continues to grow against the backdrop of the steep increase in demand, a shortage of beds and a severe shortage of nurses.

"In view of these figures the INMO, and myself as joint Chair of the ED Implementation Group, will seek an immediate meeting, of the Group to assess the situation and determine what additional measures can be taken to alleviate the suffering of patients. 

"Notwithstanding this period of political inertia, nothing must get in the way of whatever special measures are necessary to lessen the current environment facing patients and frontline staff."

He added: "Workplace Relations Commission is due to undertake its second review, of the ED agreement between the INMO/HSE/Department of Health, on Friday, April 15. We will also use that opportunity to call upon health employers to bring forward emergency investment, including beds and staff, in response to the latest record figures."


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