Trolley count at Portlaoise A&E third highest in the country

24 patients waiting to be admitted in Midlands Regional Hospital

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Trolley count at Portlaoise A&E second highest in the country

Portlaoise hospital's trolley count remains acute with the A&E department recording the third highest number of patients waiting of all units around the country.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation daily trolley count shows that there are 24 patients on trollies in the A&E at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise on Wednesday, January 11.

This is back slightly on Tuesday, when there were 26 patients waiting for admission in the Emergency Department but it is still up on the 19 who were waiting on Monday, when Minister for Health Simon Harris visited the hospital.

The trolley count is also up Portlaoise's sister hospital in Tullamore where there are 19 patients in the A&E or in wards waiting for a bed.

Last week more beds were announced for the Offaly hospital to deal with the trolley crisis there but these have yet to be delivered. 

Portlaoise is also the busiest A&E in the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG). The department has more patients on trollies in use than in Tullamore, St James and Tallaght in Dublin and Naas General. More than a quarter of the 93 patients waiting on trolleys in the DMHG are Portlaoise's emergency department.

Elsewhere, only Cork University Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Dublin more patients waiting in their A&Es for a bed. In total, there are 543 patients waiting on trollies in wards and A&Es around the country.

The HSE is understood to want to downgrade Portlaoise hospital by taking it off call for 24 hour emergency admissions and removing its ICU. However, speaking in Portlaoise this week, Minister Harris admitted that "the dogs in the street" knew that other hospitals could not cope if an A&E closed anywhere in the country.