September was the worst month so far this year for hospital overcrowding with 884 people on trolleys in UHG alone.
This is a colossal jump in number both from last month and year on year. August saw 655 patients without a bed at UHG, and September 2018 only had 609.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation released figures this week showing that there were 10,641 patients without a bed in public hospitals last month, before the winter season has even begun.
The worst affected was University Hospital Limerick, as always, with 1,405 patients on trolleys, followed by Cork UH (936), UHG (884), UH Waterford (707), and Mater Misericordiae (639).
Back in Galway there were 84 people on trolleys in Portiuncula Hospital last month, down from 114 for the same period last year and the lowest September figure since 2015.
It’s also 45 people less than were left without a bed at the Ballinasloe hospital in August.
According to the INMO’s Trolley/Ward Watch there are 42 patients on trolleys at UHG today, with one more at Portiuncula.
“These are simply astonishing figures,” said INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha, adding “especially outside of winter.”
“It’s placing a massive strain on our members on the frontline and is seriously worsening patient care.”
“We have now seen 80 consecutive days where the trolley figures are higher than 2018 – often by as much as 50%. This is equivalent to the bed capacity of Beaumont Hospital fifteen times over.”
“This is beyond unsustainable. At the root of the problem is capacity. We need more hospital beds and more nurses and midwives to staff them. The HSE’s disastrous recruitment pause simply has to go.”
“Ireland needs to reform its health service and Sláintecare is the clear path forward. But it needs to be more than reports and press conferences. It takes real investment and a shift towards primary care.”