Wednesday 22 November 2017

'Dangerous' overcrowding level at major hospital as patients spend 'up to five days' on trolleys

David Kearns

Some 65 patients are on trollies this evening in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, named by the country’s largest nurses union as the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation told Independent.ie that its members in Drogheda are at breaking point over the number of patients on trolleys.

Speaking on the issue, INMO Industrial Relations Officer Tony Fitzpatrick said industry action would go ahead unless a meeting tomorrow with hospital management delivered “real solutions” to the overcrowding.

“What’s happening there isn’t tenable – there are over 60 patients on trolleys this evening, with most of them being in A&E. It’s too dangerous a situation to be allowed to continue,” he said.

“We don’t want to strike but we have for the safety and well-being of patients and staff.”

This evening 40 patients on trolleys in A&E awaiting an in-patient bed, 10 extra patients on trolleys on already full wards and 13 in the Medical Assessment Unit. Patients, many of them elderly, have spent 4 to 5 days on trolleys, in these conditions, waiting for a bed.

Overcrowding at the hospital continues despite the intervention of the Labour Relations Commission in November 2014.

In January this year there were 735 patients waiting for a bed compared to 462 in January 2014, a 59pc increase, said Mr Fitzpatrick.

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