December 9, 2023

More than 3,450 patients left waiting for a bed at St Luke’s this year: INMO

The total number of patients left waiting for a bed in St Luke’s General hospital this year has exceeded 3,450.

The total for the whole of 2018 was just over 4,000 and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) fears the numbers waiting for beds in hospitals is going to explode as we move into the depth of winter.

Statistics just released by the INMO show a total of 3,459 patients at St Luke’s have been treated on hospital trolleys so far in 2019. One of the highest number of all the 36 hospitals in the country recorded.

However, more than triple the amount (11,901) of patients were left without a bed at University Hospital Limerick, followed by Cork University Hospital (9,496), University Hospital Galway (6,870) and South Tipperary General Hospital (6,040). Waterford University Hospital was next with over 5,500 patients left without a bed so far this year.

According to the INMO figures, a total of 100,457 patients have gone without beds in Irish hospitals so far this year. It is only the second time that annual figures have ever passed the 100,000 mark.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “The Irish health service continues to break records in the worst possible way. This simply does not happen in other countries. The only acceptable number for patients on trolleys is zero.

“Behind each number is a vulnerable patient trapped in undignified and unsafe conditions, often on a corridor. Our members are working incredibly hard, but our health service clearly does not have sufficient capacity to cope.

“It’s simply a question of capacity and staffing. The HSE’s recruitment freeze simply has to go. We need an infusion of qualified, frontline staff to stabilise the health service. Without it, this problem will rapidly accelerate as we move into winter.”


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