A NEW YEAR surge in admissions to Wexford General Hospital left a large number of patients waiting on trolleys.
Last Tuesday, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation counted 26 people lying on trolleys. On Friday last, the number was 15.
It is the first time in a few months that trolley figures have reached crisis proportions at the hospital. In the last quarter of 2012, the problem seemed to abate and on many days, Wexford General Hospital had no patients on trolleys. A HSE spokesman said the rise was due to a surge in patient presentations by people suffering from mostly flu-related illnesses.
'Unfortunately, there has been a lot of pressure on Wexford,' he said, adding that other hospitals around the country have experienced a similar increase.
The INMO has been conducting a daily trolley count in Irish hospitals for the past number of years.
The HSE spokesman said that while the figures are accurate, they are taken at 8.30 a.m. and in many cases, the backlog would be cleared later in the day.
'I know it has been very high early in the morning but mostly it would be cleared by afternoon,' he said. ' There has been more than the usual number of patients coming to Wexford General Hospital over the past week.'
The spokesman said he did not expect the pattern to continue and on Monday the number of people on trolleys at Wexford General had dropped back to three.
In a statment on Monday, the HSE said that on average over 93 people present at Wexford A&E each day, at least 23 of whom are admitted. 'From time to time, a surge may occur.
'Despite the current increase in the number of people waiting on trolleys, the overall trend is downwards. In the last 12 months the number of people waiting has reduced by 23.5% as compared to 2011.'