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85 patients without beds in Limerick in highest figure recorded to date

A total of 85 patients are without beds in University Hospital Limerick this morning in what is the highest figure ever recorded in an Irish hospital in a single day.

The previous record was 82, set in October 2019, also in University Hospital Limerick.

Today there are 55 patients in the emergency department and 30 in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

There are a total of 631 patients without beds across the country today, 22 of whom are children.

INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations for the region, Mary Fogarty said:

“Despite the best efforts of local staff, the situation in Limerick continues to escalate. The hospital is breaking records in the worst possible way.

“Promises of future improvement will not suffice. Real action is needed today.

We simply do not have sufficient capacity. Without an increase in beds and the professionals to staff them, this problem will continue to escalate.

“Our members are on the frontline providing the best care they can – but the situation is intolerable for them and unsafe for patients.”

Meanwhile, 70% of hospital patients aren't admitted to a ward from emergency departments within the HSE's own six hour target time, according to the 2019 National Inpatient Experience Survey.

The survey which was launched at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, found that most people gave a positive rating of the cleanliness of rooms or wards and most people said that they trusted and had confidence in hospital staff.

However, while most patients experience good care, waiting times remain a problem with 4% waiting 48 hours or more to be admitted.

Many of the survey's 12,000 participants felt there was not enough time to discuss their treatment, and they were not fully involved in decisions about their care.

Director of the National Care Experience Programme, Rachel Flynn, said:

“Although the majority of patients reported positively on their time in hospital, a large number of patients did not.

Significantly, women and younger people tended to report less positive experiences than men and people over the age of 50, as did patients of larger hospitals.

"While discharge planning has improved, there is still more to do, with many patients saying that they did not receive enough information on their condition, their medication or how to care for themselves at home.”

HSE CEO, Paul Reid, said: “I would like to thank our patients, their carers and families for taking the time to complete the survey and for sharing their experiences of hospital care with us. It is important that we listen to and learn from our patients so that we can continue to improve patient care.

“I also wish to acknowledge the work of our hospital staff, who have listened to and are responding to the feedback from previous surveys, and are implementing quality improvement plans in their hospitals.”