Trolley count shoots up at Portlaoise and Tullamore hospitals

trolley portlaoise a&e hospital

Trolley spike in hosptials.

Its groundhog day at midland hospitals where on first working day of 2018 has seen trolley numbers shoot up at hospitals in Portlaoise and Tullamore.

Latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation  shows that there were 25 patients were waiting for beds on trollies in the Emergency Department (ED/A&E) at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise on Tuesday, January 2.

At the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore Country there were 30 trollies deployed - 17 in the ED and 13 on wards.

Both hospitals are part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which also includes Naas and the two big Dublin hospitals - St James' and Tallaght.  There were 34 patients on trollies in Naas, while just 10 were used in Tallaght and only two deployed in St James'.

Nationally there were 656 trollies used on January 2.

Kilkenny had the worst problems with 57 trollies of which 26 were in the ED and the remainder on wards.

The figures were released on the same day as the INMO published annual trolley figures which showed that, throughout 2017, 98,981 admitted patients were recorded as awaiting a hospital bed. 

Reacting to the level of overcrowding, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, the newly appointed General Secretary of the INMO, called on the HSE to explain how the predictable increases in Emergency Department (ED) admissions remain outside of the scope of hospitals to manage and control.

 “Overcrowding in late December and early January is getting worse. Despite investment in winter plans, smaller hospitals are now severely overcrowded which is manifestly unsafe and leads to higher cross infection and poorer outcomes for patients.

"Nursing staff, constantly working in this high pressure, unsafe environment, cannot be expected to put up with this obvious neglect of duty of care to them and the patients they try to care for any longer. It appears to me, that staff and patients, on the front line, were abandoned while the system shutdown for Christmas and the New Year.”

Ms Ni Sheaghdha, who takes over the role of Co-Chair over the HSE Emergency ED Task Force, said there is a system of de-escalation which is mandatory for hospitals to follow, before spreading overcrowding to the entire hospital, which was abandoned during the Christmas period.

“Our figures show that on December 28 and 29, 11 of the 29 hospitals used their full capacity protocol and placed additional patients on wards. Under HSE policy, the Joint Chairs of the Task Force must be notified in advance of use of Full Capacity Protocol.

"I can confirm that no notification was provided, by any hospital, to me and that is proof enough to demonstrate an abandonment of the system for dealing with overcrowding. Immediate and dramatic action is now required if further misery and yet again, record-breaking overcrowding levels, are to be avoided as the New Year dawns,” she said.


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