9,603 patients without a hospital bed – New August overcrowding record
Press release 31.8.22
Over 9,603 patients went without a hospital bed in Irish hospitals in the month of August according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s monthly TrolleyWatch figures.
The top five most overcrowded hospitals include:
1. University Hospital Galway 1166 patients
2. University Hospital Limerick 1130 patients
3. Cork University Hospital 919 patients
4. St. Vincent’s University Hospital 754 patients
5. Sligo University Hospital 720 patients
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“For the third time this year, we have seen another monthly overcrowding record broken with 9,603 patients on trolleys through out the month of August.
“The consistently high levels of overcrowding we have seen this summer are sounding the alarm for a very bleak winter ahead unless immediate action is taken by the Minister for Health and the HSE in the form of a fully funded, winter plan. This plan should be published prior to the Emergency Taskforce reconvening on September. It is not good enough to publish a plan for winter when healthcare workers and patients are in the throes of a winter crisis.
“For the first time since September 2021, University Hospital Limerick is not the worst overcrowded hospital. This is due in part to the work of the expert team led by Dr Mike O’Connor by listening to what nursing ward managers staff nurses and nursing managers have been constantly saying; and now this team are actioning into improving the operational processes in UHL which has seen significant results. This has been achieved by ramping up the discharge and internal/external patient flow processes through robust implementation by the Review Team.
“What has been implemented in University Hospital Limerick in the last six weeks must be replicated in other hospitals with chronic overcrowding problems. It should not take this union and its members consistently shining a spotlight on problems with overcrowding for action to be taken.
“As we head into a winter of unknowns in our health service, the Minister for Health and senior HSE management must make it their business to take every step that they can to protect nurses, midwives and patients. We know that over 1,171 healthcare workers have contracted COVID in the past four weeks. It is vital now that the booster and flu vaccines are provided to healthcare workers. The health and safety of our healthcare workforce and patients depends on it.”