October 19, 2021

Over 5,000 patients left waiting for a bed at University Hospital Waterford: INMO

University Hospital Waterford has recorded some of the highest levels of overcrowding in the country, with more than 5,000 patients left waiting on a bed so far this year, new figures reveal.

Statistics just released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show a total of 5,522 patients at UHW have been treated on hospital trolleys in 2019, the fifth highest number of all hospitals in the country

However, more than double that amount (11,901) of patients were left without a bed at University Hospital Limerick, followed by Cork University Hospital (9,496), University Hospital Galway (6,870) and South Tipperary General Hospital (6,040).

According to the INMO figures, a total of 100,457 patients have gone without beds in Irish hospitals so far this year. It is only the second time that annual figures have ever passed the 100,000 mark.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “The Irish health service continues to break records in the worst possible way. This simply does not happen in other countries. The only acceptable number for patients on trolleys is zero.

“Behind each number is a vulnerable patient trapped in undignified and unsafe conditions, often on a corridor. Our members are working incredibly hard, but our health service clearly does not have sufficient capacity to cope.

“It’s simply a question of capacity and staffing. The HSE’s recruitment freeze simply has to go: we need an infusion of qualified, frontline staff to stabilise the health service. Without it, this problem will rapidly accelerate as we move into winter.”

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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