CUH was the second most overcrowded hospital in the country in 2021.

CUH second most overcrowded

Almost 80,000 patients went without a bed in Irish hospitals in 2021, an increase of 31 per cent compared to the first year of the pandemic.

The figures are the latest released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) which has branded last year’s figures as an “unacceptable rise”.

The INMO said such a rise in overcrowding adds considerably to the spread of Covid-19 in hospitals.

Cork’s CUH was the second most overcrowded hospital in the country last year with an overall figure of 7,411 patients without a bed, behind University Hospital Limerick with 12,108.

Letterkenny University Hospital was third worst with 5,778, ahead of University Hospital Galway with 5,027, and Sligo University Hospital with 4,284.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the fact that Ireland has seen the numbers of patients on trolleys rise by 31 per cent during the second year of a pandemic is completely unacceptable and that hospital overcrowding should never be acceptable, especially when we have a highly transmissible virus.

She said: “Radical action is now needed to curb the unacceptable levels of overcrowding in our hospitals. This is not a new phenomenon; the health service cannot continue to make the same decisions year in year out and expect different outcomes.”

According to Ms Ní Sheaghdha, a number of immediate short-term requirements that can be taken to address the crisis.

These include increasing care of sick non-emergency patients to the private sector, as well as an immediate review of pre-hospital and post discharge care to assist the pressures on acute public hospitals.

She is also calling for the full implementation and funding of the of nursing and midwifery staffing review with an increase in supports to provide nursing and midwifery led care in the community.

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said the INMO has raised red flag, after red flag with the HSE and the Government calling for urgent action by curtailing all non-emergency activity in public hospitals.