Record number on trolleys in 1st week of 2018

Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise

While the number of people waiting for a hospital bed on trolleys in emergency departments or on wards fell to 483 on Friday, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said the overall number recorded in the opening days of January was up 10 per cent on the same period previous year.

"Evidence also confirms that patients, admitted through overcrowded Emergency Departments have longer hospital stays", Ms Ni Sheaghdha continued.

Across the border in Portlaoise Hospital, 25 patients are awaiting a bed, while there are 31 in a similar situation in Mullingar.

The hospitals worst affected are University Hospital Limerick with 52 patients waiting, St Luke's in Kilkenny with 46 and Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore with 37.

Professor Anthony Staines from DCU says getting patients in and out of hospital smoothly is key.

The Health Minister said yesterday he's committed to opening more beds and reforming the system.

Smaller hospitals such as Our Lady's Hospital in Navan increased from 595 in 2016 to 2435 in 2017 and Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe recorded 1569 trolley figures compared with 892 in 2016.

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick had the highest number of patients on trolleys on the same week the national overcrowding record was broken, it has emerged.

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"High levels of burnout have been reported amongst nurses working in overcrowded environments", she said.

He said while today's figures are very high and not acceptable, the Health Service Executive's trolleygar figures show the lowest trolley numbers for the first Tuesday in January in three years, which he said is a "modest improvement".

"At every budget for the past five years, we have warned that the supposed increases in the health budgets were mirages and they would not even keep pace with the underlying cost increases in the services". Hospitalised cases of influenza and influenza-associated outbreaks in residential care facilities have also increased.

"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.

Dr Foran said the challenge for the hospital has been to find isolation beds to treat patients with the flu.

Nearly 200 people have been hospitalised with the flu and a small number - less than 10- of people have died.

The record number of people on trolleys this morning comes ahead of the peak flu season which is expected to put additional pressure on services.

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