Record 760 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals this morning

Henrietta Brewer
January 6, 2020

Recent statistics issued by the INMO indicated that thousands of patients across the country were left without hospital beds in 2019. "Parents visiting paediatric patients are also exempt".

All three hospitals are now extremely busy and, in the interest of patient safety, are asking the public to first visit their GP before arriving at a hospital.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says conditions at Cork University Hospital and the Mercy Hospital are "appalling" as they battle flu and staff shortages.

This policy, she said, means hospitals are unable to open beds and it "has to go".

"Additional measures agreed with the South/South West Hospital Group are in place in order to improve bed capacity".

"What we really need is an urgent need for capacity within the health service".

Members of the public are also being advised to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most.

There were 37 people awaiting in-patient beds at Letterkenny University Hospital this morning according to the INMO with 11 on trolleys in its Emergency Department. "You can visit or for useful advice and self-care tips for treating mild viral illnesses".

The only way to combat this, she suggested, is by tackling the understaffing issue in hospitals by ending the HSE's hiring freeze.

Around one third of the hospital's wards now contain patients with flu or other respiratory viruses.

It appealed to anyone experiencing flu symptoms to contact their GP before attending the ED.

"Such measures include the cancellation of elective surgery, stopping non-emergency admissions and sourcing extra bed capacity from the public and private sectors".

Siptu warned yesterday that the overcrowding crisis is also causing chaos for ambulance staff across the country.

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