Alarming surge in overcrowding at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny

INMO figures for today paint a worrying picture

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews


40 patients on trolleys and wards

File picture: There are 40 patients on trolleys and wards at the Kilkenny hospital today according to the INMO

St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny is the second most overcrowded in the country today, according to figures just released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

The Trolleywatch figures show 12 people on trolleys at the Emergency Department, with a further 28 patients on beds, trolleys or chairs on inpatient wards/units. The combined figure of 40 is second only to University Hospital Limerick, and is an increase of five from yesterday.

A statement from the Ireland East Hospital Group said that St Luke's had admitted 'a lot of seriously ill patients over the weekend and yesterday', most of whom are frail and elderly with respiratory and other complex illnesses.

Some elective procedures have been cancelled due to the surge in numbers of patients requiring admission to the ED. However, all cancelled elective procedures will be rescheduled at the earliest possible time.

"We apologise for the distress or inconvenience caused to patients or their loved ones who are experiencing long wait times and those patients who may have had their elective surgery cancelled.  We are working closely with our Service Improvement team and with our Community partners to discharge patients as soon as possible and where appropriate to do so," said the statement.

"We are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options, the length of time you may be waiting in ED should you not require urgent care and we would ask that people keep our ED services for the patients who need them most. However, if you are seriously injured or ill the ED will assess and treat you as a priority."

Storm damage
Meanwhile, the Emergency Department's waiting and admissions area at the hospital was temporarily closed at the weekend as a result of Storm Hannah. The roof was fixed by Sunday morning and the waiting room is back in full use.