Over 1,000 patients on trolleys in Galway during record breaking November

Galway Daily news UHG overcrowding

There were more than 1,000 patients on trolleys in Galway’s hospitals last month, in the worst November the country has seen for hospital overcrowding.

Portiuncula Hospital had its worst November on record by a wide margin, with 298 people having to wait on trolleys.

This is almost 50 percent higher than last year, when there were 208 in November, and almost triple the number in the same period ten years ago.

Monthly figures from the INMO show that UHG was the fifth most overcrowded hospital in the country last month, with 703 people on trolleys.

This is the second worst November on record for University Hospital Galway, with 2019 being the only year worse.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said “We have seen yet another chaotic month in Irish hospitals, we have only had two days this month where there has been less than 500 people admitted to hospital without an inpatient bed.”

Nationwide there were 12,624 patients without beds in Irish hospitals last month, the worst level of hospital overcrowding ever seen in a November.

The worst the worst affected hospitals were UH Limerick (1,596), Cork UH (1,334), Letterkenny UH (1,108), Sligo (783), and UHG (708).

Phil Ní Sheaghdha also hammered home that there is a crisis in the treatment of children in Ireland’s hospital, with severe staffing shortages making things worse.

“For the first time we have had over 563 children admitted without a bed in our hospitals. This cannot continue.”

“The children’s hospitals are experiencing severe staffing shortages with up to 45% staffing deficits in some sites, and long-standing vacancies in nurse manager roles.”

“This is reflected in very high numbers of children waiting on trolleys across the CHI sites, accompanied by relatives in very cramped and overcrowded spaces.”

She said that it is now commonplace for there to be up to 40 sick children in hospital, with no bed available for them, on any given day.

“This is not only dangerous for staff and for patients it is simply no way to safely treat sick children who are admitted to hospital.”

“It also places a further burden on families who have to experience long waits while accompanying a sick child, potentially overnight.”

Recruitment and retention needs to be addressed at those hospitals as a matter of urgency, the INMO says, as well as the overcrowding crisis on the west coast, in order to maintain safe care this winter.