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10,991 patients on trolleys in February
Press release: 29.2.24

10,991 patients went without a hospital bed this February according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s TrolleyWatch figures.
The top five most overcrowded hospitals included:
University Hospital Limerick 2247 patients
Cork University Hospital (1070 patients)
University Hospital Galway (987 patients)
St. Vincent’s University Hospital (651 patients)
Sligo University Hospital (649 patients)
INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said:
“The levels of overcrowding this month have not diminished since the St. Brigid’s Day Bank Holiday. With two bank holidays happening in quick succession in March, the HSE must outline what steps they are taking in the run up to St. Patrick’s Day to ensure we don’t have a repeat of February overcrowding.
“Since the end of January, I have been in the majority of hospitals that the INMO counts trolleys in and have witnessed dangerous scenes in many hospitals with patients being treated in completely inappropriate spaces. It is clear that most hospitals are operating at over one hundred per cent occupancy meaning that patients are being cared for in all available spaces which is unsafe.
“Nurses and midwives are highly trained professionals who have a deep appreciation for the provision of safe care for their patients. It is impossible for them to provide care in a safe manner in the current conditions in our public health system. Many are reporting that the intention to leave, whether to retire early, move abroad or move to another position in the community or private sector, is worryingly high.
“The morale of our members is on the floor and many feel a sense of helplessness when it comes to being able to carry out their roles to the high levels they have been trained to. This is not helped by the HSE’s baseless hiring freeze of patient-facing staff. The system of hiring was very slow to begin with but the introduction of a derogation system and a blanket ban on hiring will render very unsafe situations even worse. Directors of nursing and midwifery are now saying population growth has not been factored in, the increased daily activity has not been factored in and they will not be able to stand over levels of care due to the recruitment freeze. If we are going to have any hope of turning things around for our public health service then safe staffing must be the number one priority, nothing less will do.”
Contact Siobhán 087-7987948
515 admitted patients are waiting for beds this morning, according to today’s INMO Trolley Watch. 385 patients are waiting in the emergency department, while 130 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

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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