Latest analysis of INMO Trolley/Ward Watch shows worst figures for month of May since records began


  • 7,713 patients waited on a trolley for an in-patient bed in May 2015
  • Figures up 31% on May 2014
  • INMO Executive Council, at its meeting this week, has called for urgent sustained action to address the crisis


The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation carried out an analysis of its Trolley/Ward Watch figures for the month of May which showed a 31% increase on May 2014 figures.  The figures are up a staggering 83%, on May 2006, the year the then Minister for Health declared the crisis a national emergency.

Hospitals with the highest numbers on trolleys for this period were:

  • Beaumont Hospital – 782
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda – 718
  • University Hospital, Limerick – 538
  • University Hospital, Galway – 524
  • Mater Hospital – 497
  • Cork University Hospital                           – 454
  • Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar – 435
  • St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin – 427

In the past weeks, the crisis plunged to a new low when two elderly women, both over 100 years old, had to spend more than 24 hours on a trolley awaiting a hospital bed.  Every day is the same inside Emergency Departments where elderly people on trolleys are lined up, head to toe, along small narrow corridors with insufficient nurses to care for them. INMO members are, at this stage, embarrassed to have to face patients and their families who have to suffer this indignity in our health care system.

In considering the latest figures, the Organisation’s Executive Council, at its meeting this week, called for urgent sustained action, including major investment, to address the crisis as follows:

  • Urgent action on discharge practices to include weekend discharges;
  • Urgent initiatives to recruit the required additional nursing staff;
  • Additional resources to provide for the expansion of the role of the nurse, both in acute and continuing care/community environment, to improve the response time and, vitally, avoid unnecessary re-admissions to hospital from long-stay facilities; and,
  • More acute bed capacity and step down facilities to be brought on stream.

Speaking today, INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran said:

“This last week we have seen a new dimension to the crisis in our Emergency Departments when two elderly ladies, both over a hundred years old, had to suffer the indignity of spending more than 24 hours on a trolley awaiting a hospital bed.  This is a damning indictment of our society and the way we treat our frail elderly citizens and an embarrassment to our members who have to treat patients in these inhumane and unsafe conditions.”

Mr Doran continued:

“While some investment has been made recently, it is only the tip of the iceberg.  The Government, as a whole, needs to take responsibility for this on-going crisis as we continue to see a deterioration in the figures month on month. The stated target of having a reduction in the level of daily overcrowding in EDs by October 1 is merely a pipe dream without investment in acute beds, step down beds, enhanced community services and recruitment initiatives for nursing and other staff.”

The INMO will be raising all of the above issues at the first meeting of the Implementation Oversight Group, established as part of the ED Taskforce report, which is due to be held on Monday next, June 15.


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