Nurses Threaten More Strikes As Drop In Trolley Numbers Revealed

University Hospital Limerick emergency department

Nurses and midwives are threatening more strikes.

The union says the government hasn’t made any “serious proposals” to avert more strikes and say they’ve been forced into this position.

It comes as the latest INMO figures show the region’s main hospital recorded the highest level of overcrowding in the country in the first month of this year.

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970 patients were left waiting on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick in January – a 3% drop on last year’s figure, while Ennis General Hospital recorded its lowest trolley numbers in four years.

Clare FM’s Fiona McGarry has more:

The latest INMO figures show 970 patients were left waiting for beds on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick in January, a drop of 33 on the same month last year.

It’s the first time the level of overcrowding has reduced in January in eight years, but this was to be expected on account of the delayed onset of the flu season this year.

Ennis General Hospital, meanwhile, recorded its lowest level of overcrowding since 2016, with 24 patients waiting for beds throughout the month, down from 40 in January 2017.

The downward trend is roughly in line with other hospitals, but despite the positive news, the level of overcrowding nationally is still 55% higher than it was a decade ago.

The INMO says this is down to understaffing and insists that nurses and midwives are no longer prepared to tolerate these conditions, for themselves or for their patients.

The union’s Executive Council is meeting tomorrow to discuss further industrial action on top of the 5 days already announced.