Hospital overcrowding record broken for 2022

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The number of patients on trolleys in Irish hospitals yesterday was higher than any other day this year, INMO figures show.

There were 669 people including 28 children without a bed in hospitals across the State yesterday.

University Hospital Galway was the fourth most overcrowded hospital with 45 people on trolleys, while University Hospital Limerick (80) and Cork University Hospital (72) were the worst affected.

Letterkenny University Hospital and St James’s Hospital both had 51 patients waiting for a bed.

Commenting on the figures, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that it was extremely concerning but not surprising that there was 669 patients on trolleys yesterday.

She said that there has been a 27% increase of patients on trolleys in the last week

“A range of measures must be taken now in the short to medium term including the curtailment of all non-emergency, elective care. Capacity from the private sector must be provided immediately,” said Ms Ní Sheaghdha.

“There needs to be a laser focus on the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives.

“Hospitals must issue public statements encouraging people to consider alternative care pathways in the community and outline clearly what the real time waits are to be admitted to hospital are.”

Phil Ní Sheaghdha called on the HSE, Minister for Health and the Health and Safety Authority to take immediate action in the worst hit spots.

She said that the specialist teams for Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Galway must be deployed immediately.

“The health and safety of our members and the patients they are trying their best to care for must take priority. We know that they are currently operating in truly unsafe care environments.”