An unwelcome milestone for UHK
NUMBERS ON TROLLEYS REACHED A RECORD HIGH LAST MONTH ACCORDING TO THE INMO
LAST month was the worst October on record for overcrowding at University Hospital Kerry according to new figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
The INMO’s Trolley Watch figures show there were 287 patients on trolleys at UHK during October.
That’s the highest figure for October recorded since the INMO launched its daily Trolley Watch service in 2006.
It is also more than double the figure recorded in October 2015 when there were 137 patients on trolleys, and eleven times higher than October 2012, when just 26 patients were on trolleys.
The union says that much of the overcrowding is down to understaffing, caused primarily by unattractively low pay for nurses and midwives. According to HSE figures, as of September 2018, Ireland’s health service has 227 fewer staff nurses than December 2017.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha – who is from Ceann Trá – said the figures only tell part of the story.
“Over 9,000 patients were forced to wait on trolleys, and it’s not even peak winter season,” she said.
“Figures like these do not adequately express the hardship endured by patients who find themselves in these circumstances.
“The negative health impacts of this overcrowding are known, yet this is not addressed as a national priority,” she said.
“Our current health service simply does not have the capacity to cope. The government accept that we need additional beds, but we do not have a plan to tackle this daily problem. Opening extra beds requires extra nurses, but low pay means there is no immediate prospect of recruiting additional nurses or retaining current ones,” said Ms Ní Sheaghdha.
On Monday the INMO Trolley Watch figures showed that there were 13 patients on Trolleys at University Hospital Kerry.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha