Numbers on trolleys at UHK double since January last year

The number of patients waiting on trolleys at University Hospital Kerry more than doubled for the first month of the year.

There were 382 people on trolleys this January compared to over 187 last year.

January was the worst month ever for hospital overcrowding, figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, released today, confirm.

12,201 people waited on trolleys in the country’s Emergency Departments or on additional beds throughout hospitals during the month.

Nationally, this represented an 18 percent increase on last year and a 128 percent increase on the numbers recorded in 2007.

St Vincent’s University Hospital was the busiest in Dublin and the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick was the busiest outside of the capital, where over 1,000 patients were on trolleys.

A total of 192 children waited on trolleys at the country’s children’s hospitals.

In Kerry, there were 382 patients on trolleys in KUH last month, compared to 182 last year. This compares to 199 in 2016, and 75 the previous January.

INMO general secretary and West Kerry native, Phil Ní Sheaghadha, said the situation amounted to a “humanitarian crisis”.

Ms Ní Sheaghadha said the safety, health and welfare of nurses was now at risk.