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10 Aug 2022

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'It is not ok' - INMO reveals record-breaking overcrowding in Irish hospitals

'It is not ok' - INMO reveals record-breaking overcrowding in Irish hospitals

Almost 10,000 patients waited on trolleys in Irish hospitals in June. 

That's according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's (INMO) Trolley Watch report, which shows June was the worst month for overcrowding since records began in 2006. 

The group is now calling on the HSE to take urgent action and direct intervention. 

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said, "It has been a June like we have never seen in Irish hospitals with out-of-control hospital overcrowding coupled with rising COVID hospitalisations. In 16 years of counting trolleys, we've never seen June figures higher than the preceding January.  

"Nurses are constantly raising the dangers associated with  overcrowding in their workplaces, however the figures for the month of June are out of control and a stark warning of what is to come for the autumn and winter period, considering none of the mitigation measures necessary are being implemented. 

"This level of overcrowding warrants senior HSE and government attention, it is not ok and it is not safe.” 

University Hospital Limerick was the most overcrowded hospital in June, followed by Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Galway, St Vincents and Sligo University Hospital. 

The INMO is calling for the immediate cessation of the 'Any patient, anywhere, any time' practice, the reinstatement of on-site Covid testing for all patients at Emergency Departments, and the full implementation of HIQA recommendations at University Hospital Limerick. 

They also want patients to be advised of the real likelihood of scheduled inpatient procedures being cancelled, and want figures published on the number of healthcare workers getting infected with Covid-19 at work. 

They also call for the HSE to "take their responsibilities as an employer seriously" and assess ventilation and air flow in all hospital buildings. 

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