Nurses say the region’s main hospital remained the most overcrowded in the country once again this year, despite a 29% drop in trolley numbers in 2020.
The latest trolley watch analysis from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation shows more than nine thousand patients were left waiting for beds at University Hospital Limerick over the past 12 months.
9,843 patients were left waiting for beds at University Hospital Limerick across 2020, according to the latest figures from the INMO.
It represents a drop of a more than a quarter on last year’s figure and is the lowest level since 2017.
But the Dooradoyle facility was still the busiest in the country, with more than 3,300 more patients left waiting to be admitted than any other hospital in the country.
In December alone, 983 patients were on trolleys at UHL, a drop of 5% when compared to the previous month.
Trolley numbers at Ennis General Hospital also decreased from 195 in 2019 to 102 across the past 12 months, with figures dropping from 4 to 2 between November and December.
Nationally, in excess of 53,300 patients were without beds in Irish hospitals in 2020, with more than 30,000 of those recorded since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in this country.
The INMO has described the figures as unacceptable, particularly while the health service grapples with the virus.
The union has written to the HSE calling for urgent action; for private hospital capacity to be brought onstream and for elective surgeries to be postponed.