Dozens of elderly patients still waiting on trolleys at Beaumont Hospital
Published 23/10/2015 | 12:31
Ambulances were redirected to Drogheda from Beaumont Hospital last night as overcrowding hit a peak.
Medical representatives said that the situation in the Emergency Department (ED) is critical.
This morning there were 49 patients on trolleys and chairs in the hospital.
Management said that Beaumont Hospital was provided with off-call assistance yesterday evening by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda to relieve pressure on the ED.
However, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said that staff continued to work through the situation.
“It does not make sense - Drogheda has it’s fair share of problems, so it’s not workable,” INMO industrial relations offiver Lorraine Monaghan told the Herald.
“The situation is still very serious today. We have a high number of patients in the emergency department and a large number of these are over 75.”
The INMO said that overcrowding levels are up 40pc in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period last year.
“It is unacceptable that in 2015 patients are subjected to such degrading, inhumane conditions when they are at their most vulnerable,” Ms Monaghan added.
There is a large number of elderly people in the catchment of Beaumont Hospital, but the INMO said that the issue is deeper than this.
“The issue is capacity, there are not enough beds, particularly long term nursing home beds,” Ms Monaghan said.
“There is also not enough staff to keep the existing number of beds open.
“You just have to keep on going, it’s very difficult working conditions and the work load is intolerable,” she added.
A representative for Beaumont Hospital said it “acknowledges and regrets the difficult conditions experienced by patients and staff.
“The hospital has one of the busiest EDs in Ireland, providing services to over 50,000 patients each year,” they said.
“2015 has seen a significant increase in attendances.
“A total of 33 in-patient ward beds are not available at present, due in part to essential refurbishment work for transplant patients. This work is due to be completed by the end of next month.” Beaumont Hospital said it "regrets the difficult conditions experienced by patients and staff at its Emergency Department (ED)".
"The hospital has one of the busiest EDs in Ireland, providing services to over 50,000 patients each year," reads a statement from the hospital.
"2015 has seen a significant increase in attendances at the ED along with an older profile and a greater complexity of illness in patients presenting.
"It is Beaumont Hospital’s practice to treat all patients with dignity and care. Staff endeavour to free as many beds as possible to meet demand each day and over 60 people are expected to be discharged today."