Almost 1,000 patients on trolleys at UHG in July

Galway Daily news SIPTU Radiographers disappointed with management response to staffing crisis

Almost 1,000 people went without a bed at University Hospital Galway in July – with just two other hospitals in the State recording higher levels of overcrowding.

A total of 998 patients were on trolleys at UHG in July, just two less than Cork University Hospital.

The most overcrowded hospital was University Hospital Limerick again, with 1,268 patients.

St. Vincent’s University Hospital had 692 patients on trolleys, and Sligo University Hospital was the fifth most overcrowded with 617 people waiting for a bed throughout the month.

Nationally, nearly 9,200 patients went without a bed in the month of July, a 52% increase on July 2021.

INMO Director of Professional Services, Tony Fitzpatrick, said that the level of hospital overcrowding we have seen throughout this summer has been a cause of serious concern.

He said that since the beginning of May we have seen 27,832 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals including 9,191 in July.

“The fact that 95 children under the age of sixteen have been without hospital beds in July should absolutely not be tolerated,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.

“Unless we see a hospital-by-hospital plan to tackle overcrowding, we are in for a very bleak winter in Irish hospitals which will see nurses and patients in extremely unsafe circumstances.

“We need to heed the warnings from our colleagues in Australia when it comes to mitigating the impact of both flu and COVID in Irish hospitals over the coming months.

“We cannot afford to have a COVID and flu ‘twindemic’ in Irish hospitals this winter. Vaccinations for both COVID and flu should be offered to healthcare workers as soon as possible.

“Nurses and other healthcare staff cannot be expected to sustain this type of pressure right into the winter.

“If the Government and HSE are serious about retaining those who already work in the health service, meaningful action must be taken to ensure safe care conditions for both patients and staff. No nurse wants to have to care for patients in suboptimal conditions.”