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UHL breaks overcrowding record with 126 treated on trolleys

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has set an unwanted new record today with 126 patients being treated on trolleys at the Dooradoyle hospital.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for an emergency plan to be activated for UHL in the wake of the figures the highest number of patient overcrowding in any Irish hospital since the INMO began its TrolleyWatch in 2006.

A spokesperson for the INMO said the level of overcrowding “is dangerous for patients and staff and requires an immediate hospital group-wide response”.

The number of patients on trolleys in UHL this Thursday makes up over 28% of the total number of patients on trolleys across the country today (442 patients).

INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Mary Fogarty said, “The fact that we are seeing a record number of patients on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick on the 21st of April means that the bed management system is completely broken.

“The INMO has been sounding the alarm on issues within UHL for years. We need to see the emergency plan activated for the hospital this morning and a public announcement of same.

“Hospital management need to urgently stop admitting patients for elective care as there are no beds within the hospital. The system is completely congested.

“INMO members in University Hospital Limerick are reporting significant work-related stress due to the persistent overcrowding and inability of provide appropriate care to all admitted patients.

“They are exhausted and burnt out. As well as trying to deal with a completely unsafe environment they also are dealing with public dissatisfaction and impatience with the situation in the hospital. They also have serious concerns for the safety of patients and have advised management repeatedly of same.”

“Senior HSE management and Minister Donnelly need to urgently act on what is a chaotic situation for the people of the Mid-West. This complete mismanagement is unacceptable and is having real consequences on the health outcomes of patients who find themselves without a bed in an extremely busy hospital while an airborne virus is still extremely prevalent.”

“Private hospitals need to be urgently engaged by the HSE to address the waiting times for elective surgery and St John’s Hospital in the Limerick City needs urgent expansion to provide high level of surgery in the Mid-West.

“The situation in UHL has been allowed to fester for far too long. We need to see real, meaningful short, medium, and long-term action. Patients, nurses, midwives, and the wider hospital community deserve so much better.”

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