150 patients go without a hospital bed in UHL


150 patients are without a hospital bed in University Hospital Limerick today according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, making it the worst day for hospital overcrowding in any Irish hospital since the union began counting trolleys in 2006. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for measures to be put in place in the hospital to improve patient flow. 
INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations for the Midwest and Western regions, Mary Fogarty said:
“We have seen overcrowding records broken three times in the space of two weeks in University Hospital Limerick, today being a new high with over 150 people admitted to the hospital without a bed. Since the beginning of January over 2,573 patients have been admitted to UHL without a bed. These patients, no matter what their condition is, are placed on trolleys in all available spaces, on public corridors of the hospital, on ward corridors and in the Emergency Department leading to a completely congested hospital with no patient movement to access an in-patient bed.
“The levels of persistent overcrowding are having a very damaging impact on the morale of the nursing staff in the hospital who are trying their best to provide safe patient care in an extremely trying environment. 
“INMO members have repeatedly highlighted the conditions as unacceptable and dangerous for patients. When overcrowding is out of control it is simply impossible to maintain patient safety and dignity. 
“The HSE and UHL Hospital Group must take targeted measures immediately to protect working nurses in these departments and wards. Reassuring words are not enough, describing how bad it is on the Dooradoyle campus is not enough, we need to see lasting measures to alleviate the constant levels of overcrowding.
“The people of the Midwest, the nursing staff and their healthcare colleagues must be supported by patient management measures that have been adopted successfully in other locations such as University Hospital Waterford, investment in long term care and step-down facilities must be prioritised. 

“HSE management and policy-makers must accept that overcrowding at this level is unfortunately extremely dangerous and detrimental for some patients.  Elective and emergency cannot be provided in chaotic overcrowded circumstances. Decisions must be made that keep patients safe and protect staff from ever increasing exposure to outpouring of public frustration and anger.”


Notes to Editors

710 admitted patients are waiting for beds this morning, according to today’s INMO Trolley Watch. 504 patients are waiting in the emergency department, while 206 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

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