Record 656 patients waiting for hospital bed

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Rachel Lynch
Journalist with InTallaght.

It may well be a new year but judging by the latest figures there isn’t much positive news coming from the hospitals as it has been reported today that there are a record 656 patients on trolleys or on wards today waiting for admission to a bed, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation.

The previous highest level of overcrowding was recorded on 3 January last year when 612 patients were waiting for a bed.

The worst affected hospital was St Luke’s in Kilkenny with 57 patients waiting, followed by University Hospital Limerick 55, South Tipperary 45, Cork University Hospital 38 and Letterkenny 35.

The figures come as the INMO’s annual figures show that almost 100,000 people were waiting on a trolley or on a ward last year.

Its trolley watch data shows there were 98,981 patients waiting last year, which is a 6% rise on the previous year.

University Hospital Limerick recorded the highest annual number of 8,869 patients.

Cork University Hospital recorded 6,815 patients waiting, while there were 6,563 recorded waiting at University Hospital Galway.

The Mater University Hospital in Dublin was the capital’s most overcrowded hospital with 5,238 patients on trolleys during 2017.

The INMO says that its annual trolley watch figures indicate that any improvement in overcrowding is highly unlikely this year, unless drastic and innovative steps are taken immediately.

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