CORK University Hospital was the second most crowded hospital in the country in July as the INMO warns of a winter ‘twindemic.’
A total of 1,000 patients were without beds in CUH this month, second only to University Hospital Limerick, which had a surplus 1,268 patients.
University Hospital Galway was third on the list with 998 patients, followed by St Vincent’s University Hospital which had 692 patients and Sligo University Hospital which was next with 617 patients. INMO director of professional services Tony Fitzpatrick said the levels of overcrowding being experienced this summer is a cause of serious concern.
“Since the beginning of May, we have seen 27,832 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals including 9,191 in July. The fact that 95 children under the age of 16 have been without hospital beds in July should absolutely not be tolerated. Mr Fitzpatrick said there is potential for a bleak winter in the hospitals.
“Unless we see a hospital-by-hospital plan to tackle overcrowding, we are in for a very bleak winter in Irish hospitals which will see nurses and patients in extremely unsafe circumstances.
The INMO director said warnings needed to be listened to.
“We need to heed the warnings from our colleagues in Australia when it comes to mitigating the impact of both flu and Covid in Irish hospitals over the coming months. We cannot afford to have a Covid and flu ‘twindemic’ in Irish hospitals this winter. Vaccinations for both Covid and flu should be offered to healthcare workers as soon as possible.”
The INMO representative outlined the pressure on healthcare staff.
“Nurses and other healthcare staff cannot be expected to sustain this type of pressure right into the winter. No nurse wants to have to care for patients in sub-optimal conditions.”