While things seemed to have levelled off somewhat since the Wexford People reported on a “Hospital at Crisis Point” in early January, the management of Wexford General Hospital have once again issued a statement warning of “significant delays” at the Emergency Department (ED) and urging people to avoid attending ED other than in the case of genuine emergency.
The INMO’s latest ‘Trolley Watch’ figures show that 30 people are waiting on trolleys for a bed at Wexford General, a figure only surpassed nationally by Cork University Hospital (40), St James’ Hospital (34), and University Hospital Limerick (34).
The Wexford figure saw a sharp rise from eight people waiting on trolleys on Friday, ahead of the bank holiday weekend.
These types of statements from hospital management were a near monthly occurrence last year as the hospital and its staff battle against a host of difficulties, chief among them a lack of sufficient bed capacity.
In this latest statement, a hospital spokesperson said that “Wexford General Hospital’s Emergency Department is very busy with high numbers of patients attending over the Bank Holiday Weekend, many of whom had complex needs requiring admission.
"There are significant numbers of admitted patients awaiting ward beds and significant delays in ED.”
It continued by urging members of the public to “consider all care options before attending ED”, in order to “help protect patients who need urgent and emergency care".
“Wexford General Hospital regrets that patients will face significant delays and asks everyone to help staff at this time by considering other options for non-emergency care, such as Out of Hours GP Service and pharmacies, before attending an ED. In emergency situations, Emergency Departments continue to deal with all medical emergencies.”
A source within the hospital said that staff are “very busy, but managing” and described the situation as “not as bad as a few weeks ago”, but noted the hospital is dealing with “a sharp increase in patients over the weekend.”