Record number on trolleys in UHL

Staff looking to winter "with sense of dread"
  • Deborah Condon

Eighty-one patients were waiting on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) on Monday morning - the joint highest one-day figure ever recorded, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said.

According to the organisation, over 1,000 patients have already been left waiting on trolleys in UHL this month, making it the worst September on record for the hospital, and with a week still remaining before final figures are calculated.

The one-day figure of 81 patients on trolleys on September 23 is a record for Ireland that has only been achieved by the same hospital on two other dates - April 3 and July 11 of this year.

Meanwhile, the INMO also pointed out that UHL was the most overcrowded hospital in 2018, with 10,000 patients left waiting on trolleys.

The organisation is urging the HSE tackle this issue by taking a number of steps, including the curtailment of some services and bringing to an end its recruitment ban, which has led to 100 unfilled nursing vacancies at the hospital.

According to INMO industrial relations officer for Limerick, Mary Fogarty, 81 patients on trolleys "is what you'd expect after a natural disaster, not on an ordinary Monday".

"Our members are looking to winter with a sense of dread. If this is what's happening in temperate months, things can only get worse as accidents and illnesses increase in colder weather," Ms Fogarty said.


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