Shocking levels of overcrowding recorded at UHG in February

galway daily news INMO warns that hospital overcrowding is not letting up
Almost 10,000 patients were forced to wait on trolleys in Irish hospitals during February, in what has been described as an “incredibly difficult month” for hospitals across the country.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s (INMO) trolley watch report for February shows consistent overcrowding in all parts of the country, and the organisation says its members are under severe pressure.

University Hospital Galway had 731 patients on trolley during the month, with only three other hospitals recording higher levels of overcrowding.
University Hospital Limerick was by far the most overcrowded hospital in the Republic, with 1,498 patients waiting on trolleys, followed by Cork University Hospital (807) and Letterkenny University Hospital (766).
The number of people without a bed in Irish hospitals in February exceeded the pre-pandemic levels of 8,515 recorded in 2019.
General secretary of the INMO, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said that nurses and midwives are dealing with huge numbers of COVID and non-COVID patients presenting at emergency departments, and that there are inadequate levels of staff available.
“We are once again back in the bad old days of hospital overcrowding, with numbers of patients on trolleys now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.”
Ní Sheaghdha said that the INMO has been sounding the alarm on this situation for too long and that its members are sick of apologising for the state of our health service to patients who have been waiting an unacceptable amount of time to be treated.
“This isn’t an issue that is confined to one part of the country, aside from the top five overcrowded hospitals, we have seen significant overcrowding in St. Vincent’s University Hospital (585 patients) St. Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny (519 patients), Tipperary University Hospital (216 patients) Midlands Regional Mullingar (266 patients).
“The Saolta Hospital Group alone makes up for 30% of overcrowding in February. Bespoke plans to tackle overcrowding in each individual hospital are now badly needed.”
The INMO general secretary added that if a patient is on a trolley for more than five hours it can have a significant knock-on impact on their health and indeed their mortality.
“State agencies such as the Department of Health, HIQA and the HSE need to step up to their responsibilities they have here and take decisive action,” she said.
“It is extremely disappointing that the HSE has not prioritised convening the Emergency Department Taskforce despite numerous requests.
“The INMO looks forward to presenting these issues at the Oireachtas Health Committee on March 9th. It is very important that the political system gets a real grasp of this country-wide problem that exists within our health service.”