Sunday 11 December 2016

Overcrowding continues at Beaumont despite requests for people to stay away

Conor Feehan and Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 06/01/2016 | 08:37

The Emergency Department is experiencing an unusually high level of patients presenting combined with a higher than normal admission rate
The Emergency Department is experiencing an unusually high level of patients presenting combined with a higher than normal admission rate

THE overcrowding problem at one of the country's busiest emergency departments continued today despite the request by management for people not to attend unless absolutely necessary.

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By lunchtime today one patient at Beaumont Hospital had been waiting for 62 hours and in the public waiting area people were being told it would be 7pm before they would see a consultant.

In the triage area trolleys were formed into rows with no curtains between them after all the cubicles filled up.

Many more patients were lined up in chairs.

Staff were obviously busy yet carrying out their work in a professional manner.

Beaumont Hospital say that it dealt with its highest number of patients in 18 months yesterday, and has appealed to GPs not to send patients to the hospital unless absolutely necessary.

There were 49 people on trolleys in the hospital yesterday according to 'trolly watch' on the Irish Nurses and Midwives website.

Nationwide there were 558 patients on trolleys in hospitals across the country.

Approximately 50,000 people present at the emergency department each year, and hospital staff say this is inflated by both the high number of people living in the catchment area and the inclement weather.

A statement from the hospital said: “The Emergency Department is experiencing an unusually high level of patients presenting combined with a higher than normal admission rate in the period since 28 December onwards.

“In line with the age profile of the area served by the hospital where one in three residents are aged over 65 and living alone, Beaumont is also seeing a high volume of older people attending Emergency Department.

"This includes a growing number of patients presenting with respiratory and influenza symptoms.”

The hospital is also asking patients to avoid coming to the department if possible and to access private clinics where possible.

Beaumont Hospital have introduced a number of measures to manage the situation including cancelling non urgent admissions and surgeries in order to free up additional beds.

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