Five days stuck on a trol­ley and still no sign of a bed

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SINEAD KELLE­HER

A BALLYBUNION woman who has been ly­ing on a trol­ley in a cor­ri­dor since she rushed to the emer­gency de­part­ment of Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal Kerry last Thurs­day says no words can de­scribe the night­mare she has been through.

Deb­bie Egan was ad­mit­ted to UHK on Thurs­day night at 10pm af­ter ar­riv­ing in the emer­gency de­part­ment with chest pains that morn­ing. She also has an in­op­er­a­ble tu­mour.

She was given a trol­ley in a cor­ri­dor and on Tues­day she was still there. That’s more than five days later and over 100 hours ly­ing in a trol­ley.

She said emer­gency de­part­ment staff were run off their feet and she is fu­ri­ous at the HSE over the treat­ment pro­vided for pa­tients.

“It is ab­so­lutely dis­grace­ful. There is no pri­vacy and dig­nity in here,” she said.

A BALLYBUNION woman who has spent five days and nights on a trol­ley at Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal Kerry this week has hit out at the health ser­vice say­ing that there is “no pri­vacy or dig­nity” for pa­tients.

Deb­bie Egan from Ballybunion ar­rived in Ac­ci­dent and Emer­gency on Thurs­day morn­ing around 10am suf­fer­ing from chest pains. It was de­cided that she should re­main in hos­pi­tal for what a sus­pected heart con­di­tion. She also has an in­op­er­a­ble tu­mour which is be­ing mon­i­tored.

She was put on a trol­ley in the hall­way of the emer­gency de­part­ment and re­mained there un­til Tues­day – a full five days later and more than 100 hours ly­ing in a cor­ri­dor of A&E.

“It was a night­mare. No words can de­scribe it,” she told The Ker­ry­man this week.

Deb­bie was told that she would need an MRI, an Echo Scan and a Stress Test – none of which she re­ceived on Fri­day, Satur­day or Sun­day while she waited on a trol­ley.

“It is a joke. I am still in the main hall­way and its Mon­day,” she said from her trol­ley on Mon­day evening.

She did get some of the nec­es­sary tests on Mon­day. This was af­ter she re­fused a re­quest to un­dergo a test in the cor­ri­dor, where she has been ly­ing in full view.

She said that the sit­u­a­tion at the hos­pi­tal is “ridicu­lous”. “It is ab­so­lutely dis­grace­ful. There is no pri­vacy and dig­nity in here.”

Deb­bie and her part­ner, John, said they would have felt safer at home than in the hos­pi­tal, such was the short­age of staff.

“The nurses are un­der­and un­der im­mense pres­sure. Peo­ple should feel safe in hos­pi­tals as there is med­i­cal care on hand but that is not how I felt. I couldn’t get any help on Satur­day when I needed it. There is no call but­ton on a trol­ley. I would have felt safer at home,” Deb­bie said.

Deb­bie and her part­ner, John, com­plained to hos­pi­tal man­age­ment on Mon­day fol­low­ing their or­deal.

Mean­while, a Kil­lor­glin woman who also spent the week­end at Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal Kerry, said what she ex­pe­ri­enced was “un­be­liev­able”

She ar­rived at the hos­pi­tal in the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing with her 88-year-old mother. She was luck­ier than oth­ers as she was on a trol­ley in a cu­bi­cle but she did not re­ceive a bed in a ward un­til Mon­day.

She said that the hos­pi­tal was se­ri­ously un­der­staffed with no­body avail­able to as­sist her mother to the bath­room. Two am­bu­lance driv­ers, who were de­liv­er­ing a pa­tient, came to her aid.

“It was a night­mare over there. The staff are worked off their feet,” said the woman who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied.

Fig­ures from the INMO this week showed that on Mon­day there was 28 peo­ple on trol­leys in UHK – one of the high­est the hos­pi­tal has seen. The high­est ever num­ber recorded was 35 on Fe­bru­ary 14. On March 13 there were also 28 peo­ple on trol­leys.

As The Ker­ry­man went to print on Tues­day evening, the HSE had yet to com­ment on the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

Cllr Damian Quigg said this week that the sit­u­a­tion at the hos­pi­tal had reached a “cri­sis” point.

He and other coun­cil­lors from the South­ern Re­gional Health Fo­rum are to meet with Health Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris to dis­cuss a host of is­sues and he is seek­ing this meet­ing with the Min­is­ter as soon as pos­si­ble. He says that one of the rea­sons for the cur­rent is­sues at Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal Kerry is the lack of a pri­mary care cen­tre in Mid Kerry.

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