31 August 2021
By Elaine Murphy
The number of patients waiting for beds at Cork University Hospital this morning (Tuesday) was the highest since the start of the pandemic, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
The union stated that 63 patients were waiting on trolleys in CUH today, with a total of 332 waiting for beds in hospitals around the country.
The statement comes as the INMO releases its total trolley figures for the month of August, stating that 6,367 patients were waiting for beds across the country in the last month, more than double the number in August 2020.
The highest trolley figures for August 2021 were in:
University Hospital Limerick – 823
Cork University Hospital – 738
University Hospital Galway – 563
INMO Industrial Relations Officer for CUH, Liam Conway said
“The situation is out of control and extremely dangerous. The rate of overcrowding in CUH is now so high that we can’t maintain the proper infection control measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID.
“There is an urgent need for additional beds and the appropriate staffing increases in ED and throughout hospital, but we also need more capacity in the community so people can be discharged at the right time and space is used properly,
“This is very quickly approaching the record overcrowding we saw before the pandemic, but COVID is very much still an issue. Our members and their patients are being put at risk, and it cannot be allowed to continue.”
INMO Director of Industrial Relations Tony Fitzpatrick said:
“This situation is completely unacceptable. Government plans for opening back up society need to include extra healthcare capacity and supports for our healthcare staff, who are burnt out and exhausted.
“Increasing pressure on our members now without proper measures to deal with the demands on the health service is going to drive nurses and midwives out of their professions and out of the country.”
Meanwhile, a statement from CUH today said
“Patient care is paramount in CUH and this situation is being treated as a priority by Hospital Management who have taken steps to address this issue. Hospital management have requested that, where appropriate, the public contact their GP in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to attending the Emergency Department if their needs are not urgent.” and “Hospital Management wishes to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all staff during this very busy time and thank the public for their co-operation and support.