Record Number On Trolleys

University Hospital Limerick

University Hospital Limerick

A record number of 714 people await admission to the country's hospitals this afternoon.

According to the INMO, the worst affected is University Hospital Limerick where 80 patients are on trolleys.

Hospitals are bracing themselves for another busy day, following record trolley numbers yesterday.

The Department of Health's emergency taskforce is due to meet today to consider the recent surge in overcrowding in hospital emergency units.

"This upsurge was predictable and the INMO warned against inaction or insufficient action in the wake of Storm Emma".

These patients, who are regularly categorised as being "on trolleys", have not been allocated a ward bed, and typically have to wait along corridors but are also moved between general locations where space allows.

"The INMO is calling for emergency status to be immediately declared and emergency response plans put into operation", Ms Ni Sheaghdha added.

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Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher described the latest figures as "absolutely deplorable".

"Last week was the worst week ever experienced for emergency department overcrowding. It's truly shocking.", he said.

The Health Minister's announced an extra 5 million euro to deal with the problem - aimed at speeding up the number of patients being discharged.

A snapshot survey undertaken last week by NHI of private and voluntary nursing homes informed of 537 beds being available within 114 nursing homes to provide short- or long-stay care. 69% of the survey respondents had bed availability, with 166 responding.

This snapshot survey represents circa 25% of private and voluntary nursing homes.

In a statement last night, the hospital asked those with minor injuries or illnesses to go to a GP first.

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