INMO calls for urgent HIQA investigation into University Hospital Limerick

Overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick needs urgent investigation, the INMO has said.

The nurses and midwives’ union called for HIQA to investigate what is going wrong at the hospital and make recommendations to alleviate pressure.

UHL has been the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland every day this year. 

It had the highest overall number of patients waiting for care without beds in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

The INMO said that “despite significant recruitment and 100+ additional acute beds”, the hospital still faced “runaway” overcrowding. 

52 patients were on trolleys in UHL this morning, more than treble the number in any other hospital in the state.

INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Mary Fogarty, said:
 
“Frontline staff are at their wits’ end. The hospital has recruited extra staff and secured a hundred extra beds. But it hasn’t made a dent in the runaway overcrowding.

“Something is clearly going wrong in UHL. We are calling on the healthcare inspectorate, HIQA, to urgently investigate and make recommendations.

“Overcrowding adds stress for staff and worsens patient care. It is high-risk in normal times, but doubly so during an infectious pandemic.

“The HSE have pledged not to tolerate overcrowding during COVID – it’s time for them to live up to that promise.”

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