February 6, 2024
An appalling 138 people on trolleys in UHL today – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Commenting on the latest INMO Trolley Figures for University Hospital Limerick, Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has criticised Limerick’s government party TDs for their silence on the issue.

The latest INMO figures showed that 138 people were being treated on trolleys today at University Hospital Limerick, a record daily number. 

Speaking on the latest figures, the Limerick Deputy stated: 

“Today we have reached a new and depressing low for the people of Limerick and the Mid-West. To have 138 people treated on trolleys and in hospital corridors is a disgrace. This record number is not the result of an unpredictable disaster or a major local incident. It is the result of a failure to plan, a failure to increase capacity and a failure of the current Minister for Health to deliver for the people of Limerick.

“To have 138 people treated on trolleys is a new unwelcome record for UHL. Unfortunately, the hospital has been breaking unwanted records on trolley numbers month after month, year after year. Last year we had over 21,000 people treated on trolleys, an increase of 18,012 from the year before. January 2024 saw 2,073 people on trolleys, an increase of 893 on the previous January.

“To be treated on a hospital trolley isn’t just a minor inconvenience on a patient. To be treated on a trolley is to be treated in an area where privacy is absent and where comfort is difficult. Each of today’s 138 people on a trolley is someone who has been assessed, deemed in need of a hospital bed and yet no bed is available to them. It is not fair on the patient, it is not fair on their family to see their loved one in a hospital corridor, and it is not acceptable for the staff who have to treat these patients in conditions that are clearly not fit for purpose.

“One would think that with such unwelcome records there would be an outcry by the city’s government TDs. They should be talking to their government colleague, the Minister for Health to ensure the crisis is addressed. Our local government TDs have clearly failed to do so.

“I have called consistently for the Minister for Health and this government to take action to protect patients and protect staff. The steps they have taken are paltry and more needs to be done. This would not be tolerated in other parts of the county and Limerick has clearly been abandoned.

“The scheduled 96-bed unit will only deliver 48 new beds, with the other 48 replacing beds in the nightingale ward. This new ward will only become operational in mid-2025. While the creation of additional bed spaces is welcome, their progression needs to be expedited. We also need to see the nightingale unit refitted and repurposed. While it is not fit for modern purpose in its current form, remedial work including the addition of partitions may allow this ward to continue to serve patients alleviating capacity issues.”

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