Wednesday 19 December 2018

'Not acceptable' - 73 children on trolleys in emergency departments over the last two weeks, INMO reveals

File photo
File photo
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A lack of beds has forced 73 children to languish on trolleys in emergency departments in the last two weeks, it emerged today.

The young patients have endured hours in trolleys in the three children’s hospitals Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin, National Children's Hospital Tallaght, Children's University Hospital Temple Street.

The figures were released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO)which launched its new trolley watch for children’s hospitals.

If children are on trolleys in any of the regional hospitals this will also be recorded in their daily tally.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “The negative outcome for patients arising from long trolley waits is proven and accepted.

“Exposing children to extended periods in an emergency department is unsatisfactory on many levels not least of which is the possible exposure to traumatic events. All systems, processes and procedures must aim to avoid unnecessary waiting times in EDs as a matter of urgency.”

Catherine Sheridan, children’s nurse pointed that that ”attending hospital is a fearful and anxious experience for children and their families, this can and must be kept to an absolute minimum.  It is simply not acceptable to us, that environments that are totally unsuitable are added to this anxiety and fear.”

Commenting on the delays faced by children INMO President, Martina Harkin-Kelly added that it is  vital that the nurses’ union puts the health and safety and timely care of all patients, particularly those most vulnerable in our society under to spotlight so as to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to provide safe, effective quality care.

“Therefore, is has been necessary to bring attention to this unfortunate development by expanding the Trolley Watch figures to include children. It is something we hoped would never arise and the sooner such practice ceases the better from the INMO point of view.”

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