“Patients are on chairs” – 80 go without beds in Limerick today
80 admitted patients are without beds in University Hospital Limerick today – with more than 12 being cared for on chairs overnight, without even a trolley. See here for full figures.
This is the highest figure recorded in an Irish hospital since the COVID-19 restrictions began. 
The INMO has called for urgent intervention from the Minister for Health, with the immediate appointment of an external crisis management team to oversee governance at the hospital. This team would set out a clear plan to:
- open additional bed capacity and recruit staff to fill vacancies, 
- manage hospital activity within available bed capacity, and 
- engage with trade unions to address the industrial relations difficulties on site. 
The union warned that the HSE’s stated “no tolerance” policy for overcrowding during COVID was clearly being broken, along with social distancing guidelines, placing staff and patients at risk.
Nationally, 277 patients are without beds across Ireland’s hospitals. The worst-hit include:
- University Hospital Limerick: 80
- Sligo University Hospital: 35
- Mayo University Hospital: 23
INMO Industrial Relations Officer for Limerick, Mary Fogarty, said:
“The hospital is in a chronic state of overcrowding this morning. There are admitted patients on chairs – as there aren’t even enough trolleys anymore.
“This would be an exceptionally high level of overcrowding in normal times. With COVID, the infection risk to staff and patients goes through the roof.
“Frontline staff are doing the best they can, but this is a crisis that is not going away in Limerick. Nurses are rightly describing the ongoing situation as dangerous.
“The Minister and HSE cannot stand idly by. They need to intervene nationally to put a clear, workable plan in place.”

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