Monday, January 09, 2023

Muireann Duffy

There were 489 patients waiting for a hospital bed on Monday morning, according to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

The data shows a marked improvement on last week’s record-breaking figures, when over 900 patients were waiting for a bed in hospitals around the country on Tuesday.

Of the total number of patients waiting on trolleys on Monday morning, 390 were in Emergency Departments (EDs) while 99 were waiting elsewhere in the hospital.

University Hospital Limerick (UHL) continues to be the most overcrowded hospital in the State, where 48 patients are waiting on a bed. However, non-urgent patients in the Midwest region are now being taken to Ennis General Hospital to ease pressure on the Limerick ED.

Cork University Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital had 38 and 37 patients waiting on trolleys respectively, followed by Sligo University Hospital which had 30.

On Sunday, the INMO said the overcrowding problem should be treated as a “national crisis” as the union is to begin consulting with members over possible industrial action due to claims of unsafe staffing levels.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio’s This Week programme, INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the situation was “entirely predictable”.

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