Health Minister called on to tackle UHL overcrowding crisis

Photo © Pat Flynn

80 patients who have been admitted to University Hospital Limerick are without beds today.

It’s led to calls for urgent action from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

As well as the 80 patients on trolleys at UHL today more than 12 were being cared for on chairs overnight, without even a trolley.

This is the highest figure recorded in an Irish hospital since the COVID-19 restrictions began.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for urgent intervention from the Minister for Health, with the immediate appointment of an external crisis management team to oversee governance at the hospital.

The unions says this team would set out a clear plan to open additional bed capacity and recruit staff to fill vacancies, manage hospital activity within available bed capacity and
engage with trade unions to address the industrial relations difficulties on site.

The union warned that the HSE’s stated “no tolerance” policy for overcrowding during COVID was clearly being broken, along with social distancing guidelines, placing staff and patients at risk.

Nationally, 277 patients are without beds across Ireland’s hospitals.