IT has been the busiest May on record for Cork University Hospital (CUH) and Mercy University Hospital, as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) warns there is “no reprieve” from overcrowding, even in the typically quieter summer months and nurses across the country are reporting high levels of burnout.
In CUH, 896 patients were without a bed in May, as well as 372 in the Mercy — both record highs for May in the INMO’s Trolley Watch analysis.
While still lower than pre-pandemic peaks, trolley numbers reached 61 during May in Bantry General Hospital.
Yesterday alone, 58 admitted patients in Cork were waiting for beds — 37 in CUH, 17 in the Mercy, and four in Bantry.
There are 46 on trolleys in CUH today, 17 in MUH and seven in Bantry.
According to the INMO, CUH was the second most overcrowded hospital in the country last month and was beaten only by University Hospital Limerick, where 1,823 patients were without a bed in May.
INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said it had been “another extremely difficult month for Irish nurses and midwives in our hospitals”.
“May is traditionally a time in our hospitals where pressure begins to ease but our members have had no reprieve,” she said, highlighting that there were over 8,680 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals in May.
She said “meaningful action must be taken to ensure safe care conditions for both patients and staff”.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha said it was time for the HSE’s emergency taskforce to urgently reconvene to discuss overcrowding and realistic solutions on a hospital-by-hospital basis.