There were nearly 700 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Galway as Ireland’s hospitals enjoyed their most overcrowded November on record.
According to monthly figures from the INMO, UHG was the third most overcrowded hospital last month with 676 patients going without beds.
Coming in ahead of UHG were University Hospital Limerick (1,071), more than twice the hospital’s bed capacity, and Cork University Hospital (932).
Overall there were 9,679 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals last month, an increase of 11% on last year and the worst November since records began.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has been been keeping track of the number of patients on trolleys since 2004.
For the first time since they started counting, the annual amount of patients on trolleys has gone over 100,000 people.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that 2018 is already the worst year on record with weeks left to go.
On top of that, she added, January and February are usually the worst months, so “nurses and midwives will be looking to the new year with a sense of dread.”
“But this isn’t just a winter problem anymore, it’s a year-round problem. The health service needs more beds,” she said.
“Extra beds require extra nurses, but the HSE simply can’t hire enough on these wage levels.”
The union has said that the overcrowding in our hospitals is exacerbated by chronic understaffing.
According to the HSE census, as of September 2018, Ireland’s health service has 227 fewer staff nurses than December 2017.