Almost 600 patients were left without a bed at Tullamore Hospital in May
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) trolley/ward watch figures for the month of May, compared with previous years, records the highest figure ever for this summer month, with 9,091 patients awaiting an in-patient bed at some point during that month.
University Hospital Limerick - 858 and Cork University Hospital - 826 were the two highest recorded in May but Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore recorded extremely high numbers.
598 patients were without a bed in the A&E department of Tullamore Hospital during the month of May, 178 more than during the same month in 2016. The numbers have increased dramtically at the Offaly hospital in recent years, jumping from 130 in May 2013 to almost 600 in 2018.
The Tullamore figure for May 2018 was more than double the 284 recorded in Portlaoise, and 208 above the 390 recorded in ullingar over the month.
Nationally, 9,091 admitted patients were recorded on trolleys or overcrowded wards for the month of May. These figures show an overall increase of 12% on the same period last year, May 2017 when there were 8,154 admitted patients awaiting a bed and 116% increase from May 2006 when there were 4,214 patients on trolleys.
The INMO released a statement on Tuesday stating, "These figures confirm that overcrowding is an increasing problem year on year and a feature of patient care throughout the whole 12 months. Irish hospitals are constantly overcrowded, working above the recognised safe occupancy level and demand for emergency admissions, even in the peak summer period, continues to grow."
Speaking this morning, INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha added: “INMO are seeking a total re-look at the national planning process and particularly The Winter Initiative, as solutions to this constant and worsening crisis cannot wait for funding injection in late November or January when the escalating problems are out of control. We live in a society which expects a long wait, and a lack of privacy and dignity when attending EDs. It is not acceptable. It is a basic human right that a person deemed as requiring hospital admission is admitted to a suitable bed which is appropriately staffed.”
Ms Ni Sheaghdha concluded: “Complacency must be replaced with proactive planning, aimed at correcting, not simply reducing, the numbers to make it look somewhat better. In line with the HIQA recommendations of 2012, the aim must be: patients never have to experience care on corridors and inappropriate spaces in EDs. These HIQA recommendations, are like a fairy-tale, considering the worsening problems with overcrowding since its report."
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