A Kerry woman who spent two days lying in a trolley in A&E at University Hospital Kerry has told of the ‘nightmare’ situation she experienced fearing her health and the health and safety of all the patients lying on trolleys with nursing staff ‘stressed’ and unable to cope with the demands.
"To say it was mayhem was an understatement. It was a volcanoe already erupted.”
The woman who is her 40’s suffers from a long-term illness and has spent much time over the years in the Emergency Department but she said she has never in her life seen the situation as it was in recent weeks. She was rushed to A&E by ambulance and from her arrival she could see there was a crisis ongoing.
Aside from patients lying on trolleys for days with staff unable to attend to their needs she claimed that Covid measures were poor with no-body using hand sanitiser or wearing masks properly. She has to undergo a procedure ‘lying exposed’ just metres from the Covid ward.
Cubicles were lying empty as there was no staff to clean them down and nurses were run off their feet but were unable to meet the demands placed on them. She said she witnessed staff actually walking out while she was there unable to work any longer in the conditions around them.
"I was petrified of myself and for others. The nurse and doctors couldn’t give the care needed as they so rushed.”
She stressed that the medical staff are doing the best they can in a ‘crisis' situation and they not at fault given what she perceived as a complete lack of staff to cater for the patients attending the A&E Department.
"To me it was understaffed. I could see there was agency staff who didn't know the lay-out and the load was on the nurses. Some Doctors were only at the hospital weeks and were relying on the senior nursing staff who were overwhelmed… They couldn’t handle the paperwork, the assignments and the basic nursing care.”
She said she witnessed a patient who had a stroke call her husband from another county to come and take her to another hospital while a patient with a broken leg who was told not to move at all told to go the toilet herself after hours of asking for help to do so.
She herself was almost given penicillian on several occasions though she is allergic and was not given the band to wear but luckily had old ones in her possession.
Having witnessed the situation at the hospital first-hand she said she in “fear for the future” of Kerry’s hospital.
“It needs not to be a talking point anymore it is time that something is done. We need action. It is a very critical situation at UHK.”
"I have been many times and seen chaos but it has got worse.”
She claims her condition in fact worsened due to the lack of care.
"If I got could have got off my trolley and went home I would have but I was dangerously sick. If I had know how bad it was there I would have stayed at home.”
"I just can’t put into words how bad it was.”