CUH ED hardest hit as country sees worst trolley numbers in nearly three years 

Over 760 patients are waiting without a bed in Irish hospitals today, with fully 10% of that number in CUH.
CUH ED hardest hit as country sees worst trolley numbers in nearly three years 

Over 760 patients are waiting without a bed in Irish hospitals today, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), with fully 10% of that number in Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Cork hospitals have the highest number of patients without a bed in the country, on the day that the highest number of patients waiting on trolleys nationally has been recorded in almost three years.

Over 760 patients are waiting without a bed in Irish hospitals today, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), with fully 10% of that number in Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Cork figures 

The INMO’s Trolley Watch records that 76 patients are waiting on trolleys today in the Emergency Department of CUH, while 21 patients are waiting in the ED of Mercy University Hospital.

A further 13 patients are recorded today as waiting “elsewhere” on trolleys in Bantry General Hospital, meaning that in total 110 patients are waiting on trolleys in Cork hospitals.

After CUH, the hospitals with the highest numbers of patients waiting on trollies are St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, which has 49 patients waiting for a bed, and Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin, which has 41 patients on trollies. In University Hospital Limerick, 47 people are on trollies in the emergency department, with another 45 waiting elsewhere in the hospital. 

Today’s national figure records the highest number of patients that have been waiting on trolleys since 6 January 2020, matching that day’s figure as the highest incident of hospital overcrowding on record.

Describing today’s trolley figures as “unacceptably high”, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said such overcrowding was a danger to patients and staff alike.

“The HSE, Government and each individual hospital group must take urgent action today and pull every lever available to them to ease the pressure in our hospitals,” she said.

“The INMO has this morning urged the worst impacted hospitals to enact their emergency protocols.” 

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said the INMO had been calling on the HSE and the Government to take extraordinary measures, including the complete use of private hospitals and curtailment of non-urgent elective care since the summer, and she said it was not too late to bring in private hospitals.

“Today’s record overcrowding was entirely predictable, the INMO has been warning this was going to happen, medics have been doing the same” she said.

“Warnings from those who are working on the frontline should not fall on deaf ears. 

"Behind these figures are patients who are being stripped of their dignity and privacy while being deemed sick enough to be admitted to hospital.

“We know that more often than not our members are working in conditions that are unsafely staffed, meaning that providing safe care in an overcrowded environment is impossible,” Ms Ní Sheaghdha said.

“It is clear that our public health service cannot cope with this level of overcrowding. Serious and immediate intervention is needed today from the new Taoiseach and the Minister for Health.”

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