Overcrowding at crisis level in UHL

81 patients on trolleys in one day
  • Deborah Condon

Some 81 patients were waiting on trolleys for beds at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) on Thursday morning - the joint highest figure recorded for any single hospital in a day, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said.

According to the INMO, UHL is "consistently the most overcrowded hospital in the country".

It noted that the record high of 81 was recorded by the same hospital on April 3 of this year.

The organisation is calling for a major emergency plan to be put in place to cope with this overcrowding crisis. It noted that 81 patients on trolleys is the equivalent of three full wards.

"Nurses expect additional strain on the health service in winter, but in mid-July UHL is in crisis mode. We are gravely concerned about the capacity of the service to provide safe care to patients.

"It's clearly time for a major emergency plan for the hospital. We need to halt all activity at the hospital with the exception of emergency admissions, to enable the hospital to bring about a controlled and safe environment for patients," commented Mary Fogarty of the INMO.

She insisted that the hospital "simply does not have enough capacity for this number of patients".

"The INMO wrote to the Minister for Health over recent ward closures, but it is now clearly time for HSE intervention and an urgent boost in resources from the Government," Ms Fogarty added.


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