Over 600 patients left on trolleys at University Hospital Galway in September


September saw 609 admitted patients left waiting on trolleys at University Hospital Galway in another crisis month.

UHG was the third most overcrowded hospital in Ireland last month, an ever so slight improvement on August when it took second place with 619 people on trolleys.

Across Ireland there were 7,765 patients on trolleys in our hospitals according to the latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghda said the number were becoming depressingly regular.

“Nearly 8,000 people on trolleys should be regarded as a national crisis. But it’s become business as usual in the Irish health service.”

The worst hit hospital last month was University Hospital Limerick according to the INMO, where there were a staggering 894 people on trolleys.

Following close behind UHL was Cork University Hospital which saw 781 patients without a bed in September.

The INMO say that over 200 nurses are needed to plug the gap in services at Emergency Departments in Irish hospitals.

“Our members are telling us that they can’t go on with this number of unfilled vacancies. It’s not safe for patients and it’s not safe for staff,” said Phil Ni Sheaghda.

“The HSE simply cannot hire enough nurses and midwives on these wages. Unless pay increases, vacancies will remain open, wards will remain understaffed and things will only get worse.”

Following a decision at a recent Special Delegate Conference, the INMO is to ballot its members on whether to accept the government’s proposals on pay.

The organisation is recommending to its members that they reject the proposals.

The INMO wanted across the board pay increases to help tackle a crisis in recruiting a retaining nurses.

However a study conducted by the HSE recently found that there were no generalised difficulties retaining nurses in the Health Service.

The government pay proposals would include specific allowances for nurses in specific sectors of the health service that are experiencing retention problems.

It claims that these allowances will affect up to 20,000 nurses, with 10,000 more to benefit from an end to the two-tier pay system in place for nurses hired after 2011.