Thursday 14 December 2017

'Ongoing crisis' - Over 36,000 people on hospital trolleys in the first four months of 2017

Patients on trolleys in the A&E at Beaumont Hospital
Patients on trolleys in the A&E at Beaumont Hospital

Kathy Armstrong

Over 36,000 patients were on hospital trolleys here in the first four months of this year, according to a new report.

Cork University Hospital was the most overcrowded in April for the second month in a row.

658 people were forced to use trolleys at CUH last month, up a staggering 130% compared to ten years ago.

The figures were released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation this morning ahead of their three-day conference, which kicks off in Co Wexford this afternoon.

The Trolley/Ward Watch statistics show that overcrowding is on the rise in hospitals outside of Dublin.

27,200 people were on trolleys at 25 hospitals outside of the capital in the first four months of this year, up nearly 3,500 from the same period in 2016.

Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. Photo: Arthur Carron
Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. Photo: Arthur Carron

Almost 9,000 patients were on trolleys at eight facilities in Dublin and Naas between January and April, down 3,000 from last year.

The three most overcrowded hospitals last month were CUH (658 people on trolleys), University Hospital Limerick (649) and South Tipperary General Hospital (493).

Read More: Private patients to be removed from public hospitals to tackle waiting lists

The INMO's General Secretary Liam Doran said the situation needs to be urgently addressed.

He said: "These latest statistics confirm that our health services continue to be too small to adequately, and safely, meet the demands being placed upon it. The shortage of beds in acute hospitals and step-down facilities remains a real problem in this ongoing crisis.

"Additional services, either in terms of acute beds, step-down beds and/or community intervention teams are dependent on there being additional nursing staff.

"It remains the stark reality that without nurses and midwives we cannot meet current demand let alone in the future."

Read More: Pay and conditions driving nursing students to leave

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