Trolley county surges again at Portlaoise hospital's A&E

Long after the flu season was supposed to have peaked hospitals in Laois and Offaly come under sustained pressure for beds

By Conor Ganly

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By Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Trolley watch

Numbers spike at Portlaoise hospital

Nearly 70 ill people who need hospital treatment cannot get a bed at hospitals in Laois and Offaly, according to the latest figures from nurses.

Daily figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show that there were 31 people on trollies in the Emergency Department (A&E / EM) at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise.

A further 39 patients in the queue for a bed at Portlaoise's sister hospital - the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore. Of those waiting in the Offaly hospital, 28 are on A&E trollies.

Tullamore is the nearest referral hospital for Laois patients who cannot be treated in Portlaoise. Cancer and orthopaedic services are provided in Tullamore. Portlaoise has paediatric and maternity units.

Both hospitals are in the Dublin Midland Hospital Group of hospitals. All of the acute hospitals in the group were under pressure on Tuesday, March 3 with a total of 137 people waiting for beds - most patients are on A&E trollies.

The total waiting in St James' has 22 people waiting while there were 26 people on trollies in Tallaght hospital's A&E. A total of 19 people were in the queue at Naas General.

Senior management in the DMHG visited Portlaoise last week to discuss the hospital's reconfiguration with the hospital's doctors. The DMHG want the doctors to accept the opening of a new Medical Assessment Unit but Portlaoise's consultants believe this will pave the way for downgrade and loss of services such as A&E.

DMHG management refuse to reveal any details of the plan for the reconfiguration of the hospital with the doctors. The plan is with the Department of Health.

A total of 506 people were waiting for beds in hospitals around the country on Tuesday according the the INMO figures.