Full Capacity Protocol In Place Every Single Day At UHL Last Year


483 admitted patients are waiting for beds in the nation’s hospitals today, according to today’s INMO Trolley Watch. 

University Hospital Limerick(UHL) is by far the most overcrowded with 106 admitted patients on trolleys – more than double the next highest of 49 patients on trolleys in Cork University Hospital.

Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel reports 9 patients on trolleys while Nenagh which does not have an Emergency Department reports on patient on a trolley today.

The HSE Regional West Health forum is meeting today. In advance of the meeting Cllr Seamus Morris asked on how many days in 2023 were the Full Capacity Protocol(FCP) put into operation at UHL.

Escalation polices are adopted by hospitals, and by individual departments such as the ED, when responding to an increase in demand or a reduction in capacity to meet that demand.

According to the data presented by the HSE the Full Capacity Protocol was put in place every single day at UHL last year.  Cllr Morris had asked for the data from 2019 to 2023.

The FCP was used on 249 days in 2019, 219 days in 2020, 260 days in 2021, 227  days in 2022 and on every single day in 2023.

Various triggers will influence the activation of Full Capacity Protocols.

Such triggers include the number of patients present in the Emergency Department at any one time; the number of patients waiting to be seen; the number of admitted patients waiting for a bed; the acuity of the patients; the availability of staff and so on.

The latest available data shows that up to the 4th February 2024, presentations to the ED at UHL increased by 23% on last year and emergency admissions by 14%. This trend is more pronounced still among the over 75s with ED presentations having increased by 32% in the first three weeks of the year and emergency admissions by 28%.