Woman claims A&E unit was like warzone
Published 17/02/2012 | 05:00
A WOMAN has likened an overcrowded A&E Department at the biggest hospital in the West to a "battlezone".
Sheelagh Conway, from Loughrea, Co Galway, said she encountered chaotic scenes at the Emergency Department at Galway University Hospital (GUH) as her 81-year-old mother Carmel Conway lay waiting overnight for a bed in a corridor.
The snapshot painted by Ms Conway of the under-pressure A&Es was replicated throughout the country as figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) showed 344 people were on trolleys yesterday.
"There has been absolute chaos and pandemonium," Ms Conway said of the scenes encountered since her mother was brought in by ambulance on Wednesday afternoon.
"People are lying like dogs on trolleys all over the corridor. People are in corners. I had to sleep on the floor beside my mother's trolley. There was not even a chair in the cubicle in the emergency ward.
"It is like a battlezone. People are lying down in various states of illness."
Ms Conway said her 81-year-old mother had remained on a trolley before a bed was found for her yesterday evening.
"I'm extremely upset. She is 81 years of age. Women like my mother have been the backbone of the country. And this is the way they are being treated now," she said.
Ms Conway phoned the constituency office of Health Minister Dr James Reilly to ask what he was going to do about her mother's situation.
A spokesman for Dr Reilly said: "The constituency office made enquiries to Galway to seek reassurance that all patients in the Emergency Department are being treated as quickly and effectively as possible."
A spokeswoman for the HSE West said the hospital had been extremely busy and faced many challenges this year including a reduced budget.