Record-breaking levels of overcrowding have been recorded at the region’s main hospital in the past month.
Over 1,200 patients were left waiting on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick in July, representing a 44% rise on the same time last year.
This past month has been the worst July on record at University Hospital Limerick, when it comes to overcrowding.
The latest analysis by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation shows 1,293 patients were left waiting on trolleys over the past four and a half weeks, a jump of almost 400 hundred on the same period last year.
It means the Dooradoyle facility was once again the busiest in the country, with 214 more patients on trolleys than the next busiest facility – Cork University Hospital.
Ennis General Hospital, meanwhile, saw a marginal rise in trolley numbers to 5, from 4 in July 2018.
The INMO has hit out over the figures, saying hundreds of frontline nursing and midwifery posts are currently vacant nationally, due to the HSE’s “dysfunctional and bureaucratic employment control processes”.
The union says vital roles across all services, in all hospitals have been left unfilled, which they say is having a direct negative consequences for patients.
The INMO is expecting increased demands on the health service in the coming winter, but say even summer is seeing patients crammed into corridors on trolleys, creating unacceptable risks for patients and health workers alike.