Summer hospital trolley crisis spreads to Portlaoise as Tullamore worsens

Escalation policy activated for the second time in a week

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly

Large number on trolleys in Portlaoise Hospital

Dublin Midland Hospital Group badly hit by overcrowiding this week.

The summer overcrowding crisis at the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG) has spread to Portlaoise hospital while it has worsened in Tullamore,  according to the daily count of trollies by nurses.

As a result the HSE has, for the second time in a week, had to hit the crisis button in Tullamore by activating its so-called 'escalation policy'.

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation figures for Thursday, May 17 show that it eased a little at some hospitals in the group which takes in Laois Offaly, Kildare and Dublin.

On May 16 show that there were 135 people waiting on A&E trollies or temporarily in wards for beds at hospitals This dropped to 105. 

Overnigh, the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore rose form third to second in the table of worst hit hospitals in the country with 39 patients waiting. The Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise had just eight patients on Wednesday but this jumped to 20 by Thursday.

Tallaght's numbers fell back to 22 while there are 18 patients waiting for beds in Naas and just six in St James' which is the country's biggest hospital. 

As a result of the overcrowding, the HSE confirmed in a statment that it has activiated its Escalation Policy for the second time in a week at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore. It says this was done due to 'high levels of attendances with many patients requiring admission today'.

"In order to assist us we are requesting that patients in the first instance, consider using their GP out of hours for medical assessment, where possible

"The hospital regrets that any patient should experience delays in accessing In patient beds," said a statement.

Nationally, there were 456 patients waiting nationally on Thursday with Cork University Hospital the worst hit with 41 patients waiting. St Luke's Hospital Kilkenny moved into the top three worst hit hospitals with 32 waiting.

All patients on trollies or on wards have been diganosed with conditions which require hospital treatment. Most patients who attend A&E are discharged without admssion being required.