TWENTY-EIGHT patients were waiting for beds at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan this morning, with overcrowding at hospitals countrywide described as the “worst ever” since records began, according to today’s INMO Trolley Watch report.
Four are waiting in the emergency department, while a further 24 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.
Nationally, some 760 are waiting on a hospital bed according to the INMO figures. The worst-hit hospitals today are:
University Hospital Limerick – 92
Cork University Hospital – 56
University Hospital Galway – 47
South Tipperary General Hospital – 40
An INMO spokesperson said: “We’re seeing exceptionally high numbers of patients without beds across the country. Even one patient forced to wait on trolley is too high – yet we’re seeing hundreds each day.
“At the core of this is a lack of capacity in the health service. Our population is older and bigger, but we have several hundred fewer beds than a decade ago. Navan has about a third fewer beds than in 2009 – down from 131 to just 87.”
Figures from the Health Service Executive put the level of patient overcrowding at Acute Hospitals today at 543 with (327 over 9hrs) in hospitals around the country. That figure was 382 on this day last year which represents a 42.15% increase in trolley waiters versus last year.
The HSE records the data three times daily at 8am, 2pm and 8pm.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Ireland’s beleaguered health service continues to break records in the worst possible way. Our members are working in impossible conditions to provide the best care they can.
“The excuse that this is all down to the flu simply doesn’t hold. There are always extra patients in winter, but we simply do not get the extra capacity to cope. This is entirely predictable, yet we seemingly fail to deal with it every year.
“The government need to immediately initiate a major incident protocol. We need to cancel elective surgeries, stop non-emergency admissions, and source extra capacity wherever we can.
“We also need to immediately scrap the HSE’s counterproductive recruitment pause, which is leaving these services understaffed and thus overcrowded.
“Behind these numbers are hundreds of individual vulnerable patients – it is a simply shameful situation. This is entirely preventable if proper planning was in place.”