592 patients are being treated on trolleys, chairs and other inappropriate bed spaces across Irish hospitals today according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“We are seeing trolley figures today that we would usually see at the height of winter. The fact that 592 patients have been admitted to hospital today, October 3rd, without a bed is a high risk event.
“Our members are concerned about the spread of infections such as Strep A, Norovirus and indeed COVID-19. It is clear that the spread of viruses is going to have a detrimental impact on patient flow throughout our hospitals over the coming weeks.
“While University Hospital Limerick has seen over one hundred patients a day on trolleys since September 19th, there is a significant amount of people on trolleys in each corner of the country, with high numbers attending in Cork University Hospital, St. James’s Hospital, Sligo University Hospital, Letterkenny University Hospital, University Hospital Kerry and Naas General Hospital.
“The INMO has been calling for a solid plan to deal with hospital overcrowding with a strong emphasis on infection control since early summer. We are now urgently looking to meet each individual hospital group to hear how they plan to deal with the overcrowding crisis that is materialising in the vast majority of Irish hospitals and how they will protect our members and the patients in their care.
“Each hospital group should be engaging with their local communities and be upfront about the level of overcrowding and unsafe staffing in each hospital. Those who need care in our hospitals deserve to know what they can expect upon arrival at any ED.
“592 patients are without a bed all dealing with varying degrees of illness, nurses and midwives are trying their best to provide care in really testing environments today. Each hospital group and the HSE must outline immediately what they are doing to reduce the pressure in these intolerable environments.
“We will be meeting with INMO members in the most impacted hospitals urgently to discuss how we can approach the winter ahead.”