Friday 15 December 2017

A&E overcrowding problem 'continues unabated' as 523 patients on trolleys today

Ambulances outside Beaumont Hospital in Dublin as the overcrowding problems in Irish hospitals continue
Ambulances outside Beaumont Hospital in Dublin as the overcrowding problems in Irish hospitals continue
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Some 523 patients were waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals today, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has confirmed.

“The overcrowding problem continues unabated,” Liam Doran, INMO General Secretary said this morning.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda was the worst affected hospital today with 40 patients waiting on trolleys, while 38 patients were on trolleys in Beaumont Hospital. The third worst affected hospital this morning was Dublin's Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown with 37 patients on trolleys

Some 518 patients were waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals yesterday.

“The trolley situation contains to be very, very bad and care continues to be compromised,” Mr Doran told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

The capacity to move patients waiting to be discharged to other care facilities “is still not adequate”, he stressed.

Mr Doran said the INMO "does acknowledge" that the influenza outbreak has taken its toll on hospital resources. A percentage of the delayed planned admissions are also now turning up at A&E because they’re worried about their condition, he said.

“They’re concerned about their condition. A manifest of that is happening at the moment.”

The INMO is in talks with the HSE this week about opening 173 around the country.

“It’s not about throwing rocks at one another... In Naas, Tallaght, and Limerick, local managements have agreed to get more staff.”

“[Hospitals] ran below safe levels of staff and we’ve got to bring back more nurses from the UK that were forced to emigrate in recent times,” he said.

The problem is “one about bed capacity and staff capacity”, he said.

February and March are typically bad times for Irish hospitals, Mr Doran said.

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