Increase in older patients puts pressure on hospital
Pressure has risen on the emergency department in Tallaght Hospital as there was a 9pc increase in older people visiting last year.
In the annual report for 2016 from the Dublin hospital, the numbers of people over the age of 65 rose from 45,551 to 49,663, compared with 2015.
Only half of patients were discharged within six hours of attending the emergency room, while 75pc of people were discharged within nine hours.
For 2016 in total, the hospital had more than 420,000 patient attendances. This represented a combination of more than 270,000 outpatient attendances, 83,000 emergency department attendances, 24,000 inpatient admissions and 46,000 day case admissions.
"Despite an increase in demand in our emergency department, we have maintained our patient experience times at the same level as 2015," David Slevin, CEO of Tallaght Hospital, said. "We are also aware that the local population is ageing and we are prepared to provide the necessary care for this older demographic."
The hospital said it had employed 57 nurses through permanent contracts to help deal with the extra pressure, increasing its total nursing staff to 1,050.
However, the overall proportion of adults admitted from the emergency department dropped slightly in 2016, to 25pc, from 26pc in 2015.