Concern About Increased Pressure On UHL As Flu Season Reaches Peak

University Hospital Limerick emergency department

There are warnings that University Hospital Limerick will be under extreme pressure over the coming weeks, as flu season is expected to hit its peak.

It comes as new figures from the INMO show almost 14,000 patients were left on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick across 2019.


The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has released its overall trolleywatch report for 2019, which shows that the number of patients on trolleys continues to rise.

Throughout the course of 2019, some 13,941 people were counted on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick, the highest in the country.

The previous year, this figure stood at under 11,500 and in 2017, it was 8,868, meaning there was a 57% increase in just two years.

Midwest Hospital Campaign Group member and Ennis Labour Party representative Séamus Ryan isn’t convinced the government is taking the figures seriously enough.

UHL has again topped the INMO’s daily trolleywatch report today, with 63 patients left on trolleys earlier; that’s 11 higher than the next busiest facility.

With high flu levels at the moment, the situation is expected to worsen across the board from today.

The INMO’s Midwest representative Mary Fogarty expects that University Hospital Limerick will be hit from early next week and warns the full scale of the crisis will be revealed then.

Management at UHL have previously admitted that this winter will be a difficult one for patients, although 15 more beds are being opened at St. John’s and a new 60-bed block is on course to open in late 2020.