Clare Health Campaigners Vow to Maintain Pressure For More Supports As Chronic Overcrowding Persists

Photo (c) Alan Place

The Midwest Hospital Campaign group insists that chronic levels of overcrowding over the past week highlight the urgent need for the region’s hospitals to be adequately resourced.

It comes as nurses union the INMO has reported 93 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick this morning, by far the highest number of any hospital in the country.

Excessive numbers of patients on trolleys in the run up to St Patrick’s Day prompted the HSE to issue an appeal to people to only visit EDs in the case of an emergency.


Nurses union the INMO says that, as predicted, it was an incredibly busy bank holiday weekend across all hospital sites, with over 631 patients left without beds at hospitals across the country this morning.

The union says University Hospital Limerick was by far the busiest, with 93 admitted patients on trolleys during morning rounds, 45 of those in the Emergency Department.

The Midwest Hospital Campaign group is vowing to maintain pressure on the powers-that-be to grant further upgrades at Ennis Hospital to help alleviate pressure, including the re-opening of the A&E unit.

Ballyvaughan-based spokesperson, Noeleen Moran says enough is enough.

A UK study has estimated that there could be one additional death for every 82 patients waiting 6 to 8 hours for a hospital bed, and for every 79 patients waiting 8 to 12 hours.

The Irish Patient’s Association is now reiterating its call for a similar study to be carried out here to ascertain the patient safety impact of waiting more than 24 hours for a bed at Irish hospitals.

Spokesperson Stephen McMahon believes the HSE’s appeal ahead of the bank holiday weekend was an acceptance of the of serious patient safety issues associated with overcrowding.

He insists that further supports must be put in place for patients being asked to assess whether a visit to the ED is necessary.

The comments were made during a discussion on Clare FM’s Morning Focus relating to a drop in the numbers on waiting lists at UHL and the overcrowding issue.

Listen to the full interview here: