A total of 1,998 patients went without hospital beds at Mayo University Hospital in 2018, according to new figures released this week by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO ).
The figure represents an increase of 335 from 2017 figures, according to the INMO; however it does represent a drop of 243 from two years previously in 2016, when 2,241 patients were recorded on trolleys - a ten year high at the time.
The INMO blames the crisis on low capacity and under-staffing. The organisation has asked the government to work with the INMO to develop real proposals that will resolve the recruitment and retention crisis in nursing.
This has not happened and 95% of INMO nurses and midwives have now voted in favour of industrial action. The INMO Executive will meet on January 7 and 8 to set dates for strikes.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: "Despite the government spin, 2018 was the worst year on record for overcrowding. Negative records were set throughout the year, with over 100,000 admitted patients forced to wait on trolleys and chairs, without a proper bed. We know that this dramatically worsens outcomes for our patients.
"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 government to engage proactively 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, under-staffing and a lack of beds. 2019 must see real changes in policy and funding to resolve this once and for all."