Overcrowding worsened at Naas Hospital during 2018

3,700 patients had no bed on arrival

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

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paul@leinsterleader.ie

Overcrowding worsened at Naas Hospital during 2018

Naas Hospital

Overcrowding at Naas Hospital during 2018 was at the highest level since 2011, when the highest number patients were admitted through through accident and emergency without a bed being immediately available.

A total of 3,754 patients had no bed available when they were admitted last year.

This was more than the 2017 figure of 3,361.

The figures were compiled by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, which monitors overcrowding levels in public hospitals across Ireland.

Just over 4,400 were admitted during 2011 with no bed — the highest number since the INMO began compiling statistics thirteen years ago.

Nationally some 108,000 patients had no bed during last year, comfortably exceeding the 100,000 ceiling for the first time

And this represents a 9% increase on 2017.

The INMO has pointed out that the overcrowding figure for 2006 was 55,720.

Naas was not among the five worst hit hospitals in the country but Tullamore and Tallaght were.

The INMO has blamed the problem on low capacity and understaffing and has asked the government to work with it to “develop real proposals that will resolve the recruitment and retention crisis in nursing”.

Nurses have already voted for strike action with meetings taking place today and tomorrow to fix dates for industrial action.

INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha stressed that 2018 was the worst year on record and negative records were set throughout last year.

“The health service does not have enough beds to support our population. More beds means more nurses but the HSE simply can’t hire enough on these wages. It’s beyond time for the HSE to actively engage with the INMO to resolve the crisis in Irish nursing and midwifery. Patients should be focused on recovering but instead have to worry about waiting times, understaffing and a lack of beds,” she said.

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