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Home / News / INMO urges action as 683 patients wait for hospital bed

INMO urges action as 683 patients wait for hospital bed

University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has again broken its own record in terms of the numbers of patients waiting on trolleys at the hospital — 138 patients are on trolleys in its emergency department and waiting in wards for admission today.

They are among 683 admitted patients at all Irish acute hospitals today waiting for a hospital bed, according to the daily ‘Trolley Watch’ list issued by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) — the highest daily figure for 2024.

Cork University Hospital has 50 patients waiting, St Vincent’s in Dublin has 44 and Galway University Hospital has 43 patients.

The daily figures for UHL have surpassed the recent high volumes of 132 on 22 January.

The high numbers differ from the daily figures issued by the HSE for those waiting in hospitals on its daily Emergency and Urgent Care list which says that 507 patients nationwide are waiting, of which 104 are waiting over 24 hours, and 30 of those are aged over 75.

There are 88 patients waiting in both the emergency department and on wards in UHL, according to HSE figures.

The INMO has said the level of overcrowding in Irish hospitals is “incredibly dangerous”.

General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that the figures highlighted “another post-bank holiday trolley surge” around the country.

“The level of overcrowding across hospital sites is incredibly dangerous. These types of post-bank holiday surges are not new,” she added.

“There is no point in the HSE issuing statements describing how bad the problem is, they should have been taking preventative measures in the week leading up to the bank holiday to ensure that we didn’t find ourselves in the position we are in today.”

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said: “The HSE must outline what steps it is taking to alleviate the pressure in our hospitals over the in the immediate and short-term, and for the St Patrick’s Day and Easter bank holidays which will happen in quick succession.

“It is clear that the system is now completely overwhelmed. We need targeted measures to tackle this crisis, particularly in the midwest where overcrowding is completely out of hand,” she said.

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