more than twice as many people were left waiting on trollies in Portlaoise’s A&E for the first quarter of this year, compared to the same three months for each of the last five years.
According to the INMO Trolley Watch figures for the first three months of the year, a total of 380 patients have been waiting for beds in the Midland Regional Hospital’s A & E. This is more than four times the number of patients than the same period last year.
This is almost a 50 per cent increase on the 2006 figure, when 188 people were waiting on trollies for beds to become available. Nationally, nurses say that the figures stands at 24,880 people who have been waiting on beds in hospitals across the country.
The INMO said the record figure confirms that the crisis continues to worsen despite all of the repeated commitments, by government and management, that this issue will be addressed.
A spokesperson for the HSE said the increase in the number of people attending A&E was due to a number of factors including the number of patients with “seasonal illnesses common at this time of year and flu like illnesses.”
“Hospitals are taking all necessary steps to deal with the current situation, including increasing the number of clinical ‘rounds’ being undertaken to ensure that any patients who are ready to go home are discharged, and supported as necessary by community based care services.
“Those with flu like illnesses are reminded that most people will recover at home with rest and plenty of fluids and in the first instance should contact their GP or GP Out of Hours services.”
The HSE also urged people to be aware of the variety of healthcare services available to them.
“The HSE’s campaign to “Use the Right Door” gives information on the various health services which are available,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, there has been no resolution to the agency nurse dispute, but the HSE say there has been no cancellations as a result of the dispute this week.