Pandemic high of 506 patients waiting for hospital beds

The figure of 506 is the highest number of patients on trolleys in one day since the start of the pandemic
Pandemic high of 506 patients waiting for hospital beds

James Cox

A total of 506 admitted patients are waiting for beds this morning, according to today’s Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) Trolley Watch.

This includes 393 patients waiting in the emergency department, while 113 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

The figure of 506 is the highest number of patients on trolleys in one day since the start of the pandemic. Ninety-one patients on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) is the highest daily figure for any hospital since the start of the pandemic.

There are 57 patients waiting for beds at Letterkenny University Hospital, 46 at Cork University Hospital, 30 at Sligo University Hospital and 29 at University Hospital Galway.

'Dangerous situation'

Speaking last week after a pandemic record of 467 patients were waiting for beds, a figure topped today, INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “This is a very dangerous situation. Not only is it putting our members and their patients at significant risk of Covid infection, but it is placing an extraordinary burden on a workforce that is completely exhausted.

“Letting overcrowding escalate over the coming months, as we have seen happen year after year, is going to lead to very poor outcomes for patients at a critical time in the pandemic.

“We need to see government coming forward in the coming days with concrete plans for keeping hospitals safe for patients and staff for the coming winter. That means a detailed Winter Plan from the HSE that includes increased capacity in the community. Next week’s Budget must include plans for substantial investment in homecare packages.”

Nurses at Connolly Hospital in Dublin protested on Monday to highlight excessive workloads and unsafe conditions.

They warn that staff are under increased pressure and patient care is being compromised.

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