Numbers on trollies worst on record

Photo Denis Byrne.
The number of people who had to wait on trolleys for a bed to become available in Portlaoise Hospital almost tripled last month, compared to the same time last year.

The number of people who had to wait on trolleys for a bed to become available in Portlaoise Hospital almost tripled last month, compared to the same time last year.

Almost 140 people, although admitted to hospital, found themselves on trolleys, in the emergency department in Portlaoise last month, compared to the just 53 people in the same month last year. This year’s figures are the worst since the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) began their Trolley Watch 12 years ago.

Tullamore Hospital, reports an even worse situation than Portlaoise with 196 people waiting on trolleys in the emergency department and in wards. However, this is an improvement on the 376 who experienced the discomfort of the hospital trolley in June of last year. A staggering 402 people were waiting on beds in Tallaght Hospital, last month.

In a statement, the INMO said they believe that the figures confirm that the actions, put forward by the Emergency Department Taskforce in April, have not to date, had any impact, and much more investment by government, is required to address this growing crisis.

“In order to address this crisis, ahead of the winter period, the government must allocate emergency funding which must be ongoing. This must allow for the additional bed capacity, and staff required to care for admitted patients,in a safe and dignified way,as the current situation is deplorable and cannot continue,” Liam Doran, General Secretary of the INMO said.

While the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine said the current system could only be described as ‘a perversion of how a health system should function.’

“Delayed discharges….contributes significantly to large numbers of genuinely sick patients not being able to access a hospital bed while those whose acute care is complete remain in acute hospital beds. This can only be described as a perversion of how a health system should function,” their statement said.