March breaks records for hospital overcrowding - INMO

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Eilish O'Regan

10,511 patients have been forced to wait on hospital trolleys for a bed in March - making it a record-breaking month for overcrowding.

It is among a litany of records which were breached in gridlocked hospitals this month.

Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show 3,112 patients were on trolleys in just one week.

And 714 patients languished on trolleys one day this month, another all-time high.

Some 191 children were forced on to trolleys  during March.

And the congestion is showing little respite with 485 patients on trolleys today.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: ”A figure of 495 was considered a national emergency in 2006.

“We expect that next week’s figures will be high as our hospitals and staff continue to be overburdened particularly following the Bank Holiday weekend.

“During the month of March the INMO called for extraordinary measures to be put in place to focus on recovering from the adverse weather event, ensuring prioritisation of emergency care requiring all non-urgent and routine cases to be cancelled during that period.

“We are now calling for these measures to be implemented again. In this crisis all measures to properly resource and staff the health service must be explored and the assistance of services in the private acute hospitals must also be sought.”