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Padraig Conlon
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Shocking new figures of overcrowding at hospitals was released on the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation yesterday with Tallaght Hospital registering among the worst.

The figures revealed that despite efforts, Ireland’s hospital wards are witnessing record levels of overcrowding.

The INMO’s trolley/ward watch figures for May show the Mater and Tallaght hospitals had among the highest number of patients on trollies in the country with a shocking overall nationwide figure of 8,154 patients on trolleys, up almost 23 percent on last year.

According to the figures, overcrowding is seen to have grown dramatically in both the greater Dublin and country areas, when compared to figures recorded in May 2016.

The report by INMO further pointed out that in May this year, the hospitals with the highest numbers of patients on trolleys were in Galway, Limerick and The Mater.

While Galway had 671 patients on trolleys, Limerick had 627 and The Mater had 533.

As well as  the Mater and Tallaght hospitals, others also showed extremely high numbers of trolley figures with the Cork and Mercy hospitals, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny and Waterford hospitals all recording a rise.

In the report, INMO General Secretary Liam Doran was quoted as saying that the Government is not doing enough.

Doran said:

“The figures confirm yet again, that our health service remains far too small, to cater for demand, with this difficulty exacerbated by bed closures due to nursing staff shortages.

“Due to nursing staff shortages, we now have both acute, and long-term, beds closed, in many areas, ranging from Donegal to Waterford.

“The figures reaffirm the extent of the crisis, arising from the recruitment/retention difficulties, in nursing, which must be addressed, through pay related initiatives, as an absolute priority.

“Until the shortage of nurses, is addressed, both beds and services will remain curtailed and trolley numbers will continue to grow.”

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