IRISH Nurses and
Midwives Organisation (INMO) released figures today
showing that 760 admitted patients are going without
beds in Ireland’s hospitals this morning – the
worst-ever figure since records began.
The number of patients on trolleys this morning
would more than fill the largest hospital in the
state, St. James (707 beds) or take more than twice
the equivalent of Letterkenny University Hospital
The previous worst-ever day was 12 March 2018 during
the “Beast from the East”, when 714 patients went
University Hospital Limerick has also broken the
daily record for an individual hospital, with 92
patients on trolleys.
The worst-hit hospitals include:
University Hospital Limerick - 92
Cork University Hospital - 56
University Hospital Galway – 47
South Tipperary General Hospital – 40
Letterkenny University Hospital - 37
The INMO is calling for a major incident protocol to
be adopted across the country, as was done in March
2018. This would likely see all non-emergency
admissions stopped, electives cancelled, and extra
bed capacity sourced from the private and public
The union is also calling for an infection control
plan, as overcrowding increases infection risks.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
“Ireland’s beleaguered health service continues to
break records in the worst possible way. Our members
are working in impossible conditions to provide the
best care they can.
“The excuse that this is all down to the flu simply
doesn’t hold. There are always extra patients in
winter, but we simply do not get the extra capacity
to cope. This is entirely predictable, yet we
seemingly fail to deal with it every year.
“The government need to immediately initiate a major
incident protocol. We need to cancel elective
surgeries, stop non-emergency admissions, and source
extra capacity wherever we can.
“We also need to immediately scrap the HSE’s
counterproductive recruitment pause, which is
leaving these services understaffed and thus
“Behind these numbers are hundreds of individual
vulnerable patients – it is a simply shameful
situation. This is entirely preventable if proper
planning was in place.”