Monday 16 September 2019

More than 500 patients waiting for beds this morning - INMO figures

Stock photo: Getty Images
Stock photo: Getty Images
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

A total of 512 admitted patients are waiting for beds this morning, according to today’s INMO Trolley Watch figures.

According to the figures, 357 are waiting in the emergency departments nationwide, while 155 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

The worst-hit hospitals today are:

  • University Hospital Limerick – 47
  • Mid-Western Regional Hospital Tullamore - 44
  • University Hospital Galway – 42
  • Cork University Hospital – 39

These figures are recorded by the INMO members at 8am every morning.

The Tuesday morning figures come after it was reported on Sunday that this year has seen the worst-ever November on record for hospital overcrowding.

A total of 9,679 admitted patients were forced to wait on trolleys and chairs for beds last month, according to the INMO.

This is an 11pc increase on November 2017 and more than twice as bad as 2006, when the records first began.

Last week, the count for 2018 crossed 100,000 for the first time ever, already making 2018 the worst-ever year for overcrowding.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha expressed concern as she said that 2018 is already the worst year on record, and there are still several weeks in the year to go.

"Behind each number is a vulnerable patient suffering in poor conditions, with overworked staff pulling out all the stops to provide the best possible care," Ms Ní Sheaghdha said.

"January and February are typically the worst months, so nurses and midwives will be looking to the new year with a sense of dread.

"But this isn't just a winter problem anymore, it's a year-round problem.

"The health service needs more beds. Extra beds require extra nurses, but the HSE simply can't hire enough on these wage levels," she added.

A total of five hospitals saw over 500 patients on trolleys in November:

  • Cork University Hospital: 932
  • University Hospital Galway: 676
  • Letterkenny University Hospital: 581
  • Tallaght University Hospital: 559
  • Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore: 549

The union claims that much of the overcrowding is down to understaffing, caused primarily by low pay levels in Irish nursing and midwifery. According to the HSE census, as of September 2018, Ireland’s health service has 227 fewer staff nurses than December 2017.

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