Slipping into old habits 'dangerous' as highest number of patients on trolleys recorded since Covid-19 pandemic began

Slipping into old habits 'dangerous' as highest number of patients on trolleys recorded since Covid-19 pandemic began

316 people are waiting without hospital beds across the country. This is the highest figure since the pandemic began in March 2020. File photo.

Trolley figures have reached their highest point since the start of the pandemic, according to new figures from the INMO.

316 people are waiting without hospital beds across the country. This is the highest figure since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The union has warned that overcrowding poses a Covid cross-infection risk for patients and staff alike.

The hospitals with the highest number of patients on trolleys today are:

University Hospital Limerick – 59 

Cork University Hospital – 38 

Mayo University Hospital - 36 

Mercy University Hospital also has 20 patients waiting for beds.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “This is an incredibly dangerous time to slip into old bad habits. Overcrowded wards are a breeding ground for contagious viruses.

“The number of people on trolleys has been far lower this year. If we take our eye off the ball now, infection rates in our hospitals will skyrocket.

“Over 12,000 healthcare workers have caught Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. Many of those staff are still living with symptoms, meaning that staffing is under even greater pressure.

“Decisive action on overcrowding is needed urgently to avoid putting patients and staff at serious risk.”

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