There were almost 1,000 patients on trolleys in Galway’s hospitals last month in one of the worst Januarys on record.
University Hospital Galway there were 738 patients without a bed in January, six times higher than the same month last year.
The only January on record since 2006 that was worse than this year at UHG came in 2020.
Portiuncula Hospital, which had a streak of the worst months of overcrowding on record in 2021, also experienced a very bad month.
The 226 patients on trolleys at Portiuncula in January is a 14% increase on the figures for 2021, and only exceeded by the numbers for 2017.
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that we cannot return to the pre-pandemic “business as usual” status quo for chronic overcrowding.
“It is not acceptable to us that chronic overcrowding is allowed to continue while COVID is still rampant in many of our hospitals.”
“Our members are frankly embarrassed and tired of apologising to patients for the poor standard of care environments.”
The INMO is calling for the curtailment of elective surgery to continue until the end of this month in order to avoid worsening overcrowding.
Nationwide there were 8,636 patients on trolleys in Irish hospitals last month, 132% higher than in January 2021.
University Hospital Galway was the fourth worst affected in the country, behind UHL (1,300), Letterkenny UH (817), and Cork UH (750).
Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that the HSE must issue guidance to ensure “chronic overcrowding” does not continue in the coming months.
“Bespoke plans should be produced for hospitals where chronic overcrowding is a persistent feature of the hospital environment.”