76% increase in numbers on trolleys in University Hospital Kerry in August

There has been a 76% percent increase in the number of patients waiting on trolleys in University Hospital Kerry in August.

That’s according to the Irish Midwives and Nurses Organisation, which says August was the worst-ever for hospital overcrowding.

300 patients were waiting on trolleys in University Hospital Kerry this August, compared to 170 people in August 2017.

The INMO’s monthly Trolley Watch analysis shows that almost 8,000 (7,911) admitted patients were forced to wait on chairs or trolleys nationally in August 2018 – an increase of 2% on last year.

300 of those were in Kerry, an increase of 130 people for the same period last year when 170 patients were on trolleys at University Hospital Kerry.

That is compared to 148 patients in 2016, 108 in 2015 and 95 in 2014.

In 2008, just nine patients were on trolleys in UHK throughout August.

The INMO blames the understaffing crisis on low pay for nurses and midwives.

Ventry native and INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha says pay needs to change to ensure vacancies are filled.

Ms Ní Sheaghdha says the HSE simply cannot find enough nurses and midwives to work on such wages.

She believes the problem will get worse unless nurses and midwives get pay equality with similarly-qualified health professionals.