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Highest-ever trolley figure in an Irish hospital: 82 patients without beds in Limerick 02.10.19
Press Release

82 patients are without beds in University Hospital Limerick this morning – the highest figure ever recorded in any Irish hospital.


The figures from the INMO show 47 patients without beds in the hospital’s emergency department, with 35 in wards elsewhere in the hospital. Patients without beds are typically on chairs and trolleys, often in corridors.


In September, Limerick had over 1,400 patients without beds.


The INMO has called for a direct, immediate intervention in the hospital from the Minister for Health, including:

  • Instructions to cancel of non-essential elective work
  • More home care packages to move patients out of the hospital
  • Emergency funding for extra agency staff today
  • An immediate end to the recruitment ban for nurses and midwives
  • Extra support for GPs and Public Health Nurses to allow more home/community treatment


There are 556 patients without beds across the country, 3 of them children. The other worst-hit hospitals include:

  • Cork University Hospital: 55
  • University Hospital Galway: 42
  • Letterkenny University Hospital: 36
  • South Tipperary General Hospital: 35
  • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital: 35


INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:


“The situation is escalating beyond crisis point and cannot be allowed to continue. We are calling on the Minister to intervene directly. He needs to instruct the hospital to cancel electives, provide emergency funding, and increase the number of home care packages today.


“Promises of future improvement will not suffice. Real action is needed today.


“We have been saying this on repeat for more than a decade. Ireland does not have sufficient hospital capacity. Without an increase in beds and the professionals to staff them, this problem will continue to escalate.


“Our members are on the frontline providing the best care they can – but the situation is intolerable for them and unsafe for patients.


“The INMO’s Executive Council will meet next Tuesday. It will consider what real measures are needed to protect patients and frontline workers, in the absence of immediate action from the Minister and HSE management.”



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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie