More than 572 sick patients were forced to wait on trolleys and chairs for beds at Letterkenny University Hospital in the last month.
October 2018 was the worst October on record for hospital overcrowding in Ireland, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
The union’s daily trolley watch figures recorded 9,055 admitted patients on trolleys and overflow wards this month. This is over twice as bad as when INMO records began in 2006.
Letterkenny was the fourth worst hospital for overcrowding, with University Hospital Limerick being the highest in the country having over 1,045 patients on trolleys.
The figures have raised concerns as the winter season approaches.
The INMO has expressed concern at overcrowding in smaller hospitals and said that much of the overcrowding is down to understaffing, caused primarily by unattractively low pay levels in Irish nursing and midwifery.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Over 9,000 patients forced to wait on trolleys and it’s not even peak winter season. Figures like these do not adequately express the hardship endured by patients who find themselves in these circumstances. The negative health impacts of this overcrowding are known, yet this is not addressed as a national priority.
“Our current health service simply does not have the capacity to cope. The government accept that we need additional beds, but we do not have a plan to tackle this daily problem. Opening extra beds requires extra nurses, but low pay means there is no immediate prospect of recruiting additional nurses or retaining current ones.”Tags: