Emergency Department Overcrowding Continues At Record Levels For Month Of July

6,715 admitted patients, on trolleys, up 21% on July 2014


The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has found, following a review of the July Trolley/Ward Watch figures, that 6715 admitted patients, were on trolleys during the past month. This represents a 21% increase, on July 2014, and is the highest ever level of overcrowding recorded for the month of July (see table attached).


This record level of overcrowding, for the month of July, is very disappointing and is further evidence that the measures taken to date, however welcome, are wholly inadequate.


In July a number of hospitals endured a significant increase in their overcrowding levels including:


  • St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny


up 111% on July 2014

  • Naas General Hospital


up 83% on July 2014

  • Tallaght Hospital, Dublin


up 62% on July 2014

  • Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown


up 50% on July 2014

  • University Hospital, Galway


up 47% on July 2014


The hospitals showing the highest levels of overcrowding, in terms of the total number of patients on a trolley during the month of July, were:


  • Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda – 769;

  • University Hospital, Galway, – 654; and

  • Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, – 643.



This unprecedented level of overcrowding, for the month of July, must raise serious concerns ahead of the autumn/winter period, and the increasing numbers of patients that will inevitably present at that time.


As a result of these figures the INMO is seeking an immediate meeting with the HSE and the Department of Health. This will be to agree a further series of immediate initiatives, requiring additional resources, for the purposes of alleviating the negative impact upon patient care, and patient well-being, arising from this level of overcrowding. These discussions must also agree initiatives to address the chronic staff shortages, which now exist, within nursing, and the inability of hospitals to recruit nursing staff at this time.


Speaking this morning INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“This volume of overcrowding, in our country’s hospitals, during the month of July is unprecedented and cannot be allowed to continue. The additional funding for the Fair Deal scheme, with the reduction in the number of delayed discharges, is most welcome but, obviously, is not enough to deal with the system wide problem.


The health service must be given an additional funding allocation which will allow it, without waiting for the coming winter period or the next financial year, to open additional beds, with extra staffing, immediately”.


Mr. Doran concluded:


“It must be remembered that these figures represent individual people, who require admission to hospital, and their loss of dignity, privacy and access to care in an appropriate environment, cannot be forgotten and should be our priority. We must now agree sustained actions leading to increased capacity for the health service to deal properly, and safely with every person who presents for care and attention”.


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