People being asked not to attend the Emergency Department (ED / A&E) at Tullamore hospital unless their visit is 'absolutely essential'
The HSE issued a statement on Monday, December 13 about the Offaly hospital which is in the same group as the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.
"The Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore is experiencing a very busy period with a significantly increased number of people requiring admission to the Hospital.
"The hospital is reminding members of the public to consider their care options before presenting to the Emergency Department (ED). We advise that the public only attend our emergency services if absolutely essential. If you are unwell, please go to your GP or pharmacy in the first instance. Importantly, please do not delay in seeking medical attention if you suspect you are having a heart attack or stroke. Our ED Services are available to you, please dial 999 or 112 in an emergency. For routine matters please contact your GP or out of hours by phone.
"If you have to attend the ED in emergency situation please ensure you wear a mask, practice social distancing and ensure you tell the triage personnel if you have any signs/symptoms of Covid-19," concluded the appeal from the HSE.
As of Monday morning, INMO trolley watch figures show that there were 23 patients on trolleys awaiting admission to the hospital.
The latest HSE figures say there was just one available general bed in the hospital and no available beds in the hospital's ICU.
The latest figures from the HSE show that there were 12 patients with confirmed cases of Covid-19 being treated in the hospital with one of those patients in ICU.
With the highest number of patients on trolleys since the pandemic began, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for bespoke plans to tackle overcrowding in each hospital.
This comes as 534 patients have been recorded on the INMO Trolley Watch. There were five patients on trollies at Portlaoise hospitals.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha, is INMO General Secretary.
“Today’s figures are a real nightmare before Christmas scenario. We need to see urgent mitigation measures from individual hospitals and the HSE to tackle the number of people on trolleys.
“The warning signs that trolleys would go over five hundred once again have been very obvious. This is a predictable event.
“Overcrowded hospitals reduce the ability to deliver safe care. With this pandemic it is even more important that the HSE take all necessary steps to avoid the overcrowded wards and emergency departments becoming the source of infection.
“We are once again calling for a fully-funded workforce plan, and adequate health and safety measures including enhanced ventilation in our hospitals.
"The public service is under too much pressure to be expected to shoulder the entire burden of the pandemic alongside rising numbers of patients presenting at emergency departments. The HSE must seek full utilisation of private hospitals.
“Our members are mentally and physically exhausted. They cannot head into yet another pandemic winter with trolley numbers out of control while the pandemic continues.
“Decisive action and bespoke plans to tackle overcrowding, particularly in hospitals where we see persistent overcrowding is needed,” said the General Secretary.
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