Tuesday 17 October 2017

Misery for patients on hospital trolleys as September overcrowding sets new record

The trolley crisis means emergency patients frequently have to take a bed earmarked for a waiting-list patient. Stock Image
The trolley crisis means emergency patients frequently have to take a bed earmarked for a waiting-list patient. Stock Image
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

September was another month of misery for patients on hospital trolleys as new overcrowding records were set, new figures reveal.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said a record number of 8,101 patients, who needed to be in a bed, were on trolleys in the past month.

This represents a 7pc increase on 2016, and a 132pc rise on September 2007.

The union said the latest figures “confirm that, in the first nine months of 2017, a record number of 73,556 admitted patients, were on trolleys, which again represents a 7pc increase on 2016.

It marks a 94pc increase on the same nine months in 2007.

2007 was the year overcrowding was declared “a national emergency.”

The hospitals with the greatest levels of overcrowding, in the past month, were: 

  • University Hospital Limerick: 902
  • Cork University Hospital: 628
  • University Hospital Galway: 598
  • University Hospital Waterford: 505
  • Tallaght Hospital, Dublin: 448

The union said the HSE pledged to hire an extra 123 nurses, to look after admitted patients, across a number of emergency departments- but just 17 of these are in place.

It wants “emergency talks”  would be sought with the HSE and Department of Health.INMO general secretary Liam Doran said many hospitals are now “beyond breaking point.”

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