Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Nurses say 2400 patients on hospital trolleys over recent days

Nurses say 2400 patients on hospital trolleys over recent days

"Despite assurances from Minister Simon Harris that this year's winter initiative would be able to deal with the expected increase in pressure on our health system, the reality is that the plan is failing miserably", he said. The country had people hanging off trolleys in the good times, so what chance do we have now.

The overall HSE figures show that overcrowding has reduced today to 438 patients, when the children's hospitals are included.

Phil Ni Sheaghdha, the newly appointed General Secretary of the INMO, said that immediate action is required.

Dr Tom Ryan, President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, said that today's record number of patients on trolleys requiring hospital care was entirely predictable and unacceptable.

The Taoiseach apologised to patients experiencing long delays in hospitals and expressed "regret and frustration" that there has not been an improvement despite increased investment.

"There is ample evidence which confirms that high ED occupancy is associated with increased in-hospital mortality following admission from overcrowded EDs".

She said: "This latest trolley crisis is a national disgrace and is intolerable for both patients and staff - but it is also absolutely predictable".

"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".

He said that the shortage of hospital beds is a "complex issue" without one solution, but that there are far more effective, economically viable and compassionate to having sick people on hospital trolleys. "It appears to me, that staff and patients, on the front line, were abandoned while the system shutdown for Christmas and the New Year".

Damien McCallion, National Director Emergency Management & National Ambulance Service told RTÉ's News at One that smaller hospitals will find it more hard to overcome the current trolley crisis.

"I am committed to breaking the cycle of overcrowding in the health service".

She said there are "clinical nursing concerns" around access to surgery in the hospital.

"Certainly it will take a number of days for our medium sized hospitals to get themselves back into, what we would call, a more reasonable state", he said.

Overcrowding at the Midland Regional Hospitals remained largely static in 2017 compared to a year earlier.

"The HSE has in the last fortnight also been notified of a small number of deaths directly related to influenza (less than 10)".

He said it was likely the flu season had not yet peaked.

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