Six fold increase of patients on trolleys in Portlaoise hospital

Number of patients waiting on trolleys hit a high of 358 in March

Six fold increase of patients on trolleys in Portlaoise hospital
By Lynda Kiernan lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

The number of patients left waiting on trolleys at Portlaoise hospital reached 358 this March, over six times greater that the 56 patients recorded on trolleys in March 2006.

The number last month was the highest in a decade for Portlaoise, gradually increasing almost every year in that time, but jumping by almost 100 in the past year.

Tullamore hospital's figures are even worse, going from 4 patients put on trolleys during March 2006, to 537 patients waiting for a bed last March. A year ago the figure had hit a record high at 568 patients.

The new figures gathered by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation showed a 28 percent increase in trolley counts across Ireland in the last decade, up to 9,459, mostly in areas outside Dublin.

All other hospitals in the Dublin Midlands hospital group had hundreds of patients on trolleys this March, showing that there is nowhere else for Portlaoise patients to go if the A&E hours are cut here as is still feared.

Dublin hospitals grouped with Portlaoise and Tullamore, showed a sharp improvement in 2007, but still had hundreds of sick people on trolleys last month.

St James' hospital went from 670 on trolleys in 2006 to 95 in 2007, but last March it had 336 waiting for beds, more than double the number in March 2016.

Tallaght hospital halvedfrom 734 in 2006, to 339 in 2007, but stayed in the hundreds since with 485 on trolleys last month.

Also in the same group is the smaller Naas General Hospital, which had 478 waiting on trolleys in March 2006, down to 338 this year.

The INMO had compiled the figures from its regular Trolley/Ward Watches.

General Secretary Liam Doran said it proves “severe overcrowding”.

“The figures are very disappointing. Severe overcrowding is still being experienced in many hospitals around the country. It remains the stark reality that without nurses we cannot meet current demand let alone in the future. The recent staffing deal is the first step in a 3 year program that must increase nurse/midwife levels from 35,600 to over 40,000,” Mr Doran said.

Minister for Health Simon Harris is due to meet Portlaoise GPs this month.