Sunday 20 January 2019

Number of patients on trolleys reaches near record high

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The numbers of patients on hospital trolleys soared to 668 today – another near record high as the crisis deepened.

Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation reveal the record 677 trolley count seen earlier this month was again almost reached today.

It means yet more suffering for patients across the country who need to be in a bed.

The worst hit hospital was University Hospital Limerick where 60 patients were on trolleys this morning.

St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin had 45 patients on trolleys and 42 patients waited for a bed in Cork University Hospital.

Letterkenny Hospital had 39 patients on trolleys.

The latest high comes as Health Minister Simon Harris brought the report on the bed capacity review to Cabinet.

It recommends 2,500 more beds in hospitals and in the community between now and 2031.

However, it will be up to Finance Minister Paschal Donohue to fund the beds.

Funding for the first phase of beds is expected to be signalled in the capital development plan which will be published in the coming weeks.

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