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Runaway hospital overcrowding is becoming new normal
press release 24/03/23

Over 3,123 patients have been without a hospital bed this week according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s TrolleyWatch figures.

548 patients are without a bed today, including sixteen children.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha:

“There hasn’t been a day in the last two weeks where trolley numbers have dropped below 545. It is clear to our union that ridiculously high trolley figures have become the new normal.

“The INMO has long been raising our concerns about the devastating impact this level of overcrowding is having on nurses and their patients with all levels of HSE management. It is clear that the current approach to tackling hospital overcrowding is not working.

“The HSE and Department of Health need to stop treating runaway hospital overcrowding as a surprise, this level of overcrowding was and is entirely predictable. Post bank holiday backlogs are not new, they happen each time and it is clear that many hospitals are not preparing properly.

“Our members have made it clear they cannot continue to work in these conditions year-round with absolutely zero reprieve. Real, tangible action must be taken to radically reduce hospital overcrowding.

“We have sought an urgent meeting with the new HSE CEO to discuss new approaches that can be taken in light of his recent comments on the winter plan process. Overcrowding has become a year-round problem and it is our view that we now need a year-long plan with multi-annual funding.”


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Eamon McMahon
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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