The latest analysis, by the Irish Nurses Midwives Organisation (INMO), of its trolley/ward watch figures, for the month of May, confirm record levels of overcrowding, when compared to previous years, with 8154 admitted patients, on trolleys during the period.
The latest figures, are all the more disappointing, after the April figures showed a marginal improvement. The figures also confirm that both the greater Dublin, and country areas, showed increased levels of overcrowding when compared to May 2016.
The hospitals showing the highest number of trolley figures included the Mater and Tallaght hospitals in Dublin and the Cork and Mercy hospitals together with Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny and Waterford hospitals.
The hospital with the highest numbers of patients, on trolleys, last month were Galway (671), Limerick (627), and the Mater (533).
Liam Doran, INMO General Sec, commenting on the figures said;
“This record level of overcrowding, showing a 23% increase when compared to 2016, is very disappointing coming at this time of year and after a marginal improvement in April.
The figures confirm yet again, that our health service remains far too small, to cater for demand, with this difficulty exacerbated by bed closures due to nursing staff shortages.”
Mr. Doran concluded;
“Due to nursing staff shortages, we now have both acute, and long-term, beds closed, in many areas, ranging from Donegal to Waterford. The figures reaffirm the extent of the crisis, arising from the recruitment/retention difficulties, in nursing, which must be addressed, through pay related initiatives, as an absolute priority. Until the shortage of nurses, is addressed, both beds and services will remain curtailed and trolley numbers will continue to grow.”