UHK trolley figures up 522percent in seven yrs
CLLR NORMA MORIARTY: ‘WE NEED TO SEE NEW ACUTE BEDS IMMEDIATELY’
FIANNA Fáil General Election candidate Norma Moriarty has hit out over a 522 per cent increase in the number of patients on trolleys over the past seven years.
Trolley Watch figures, compiled by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), show that 45 patients were on hospital trolleys in the hospital’s emergency department in November 2011. Last month, the figure was 280 – an increase of more than 500 per cent.
It comes as annual figures exceeded 100,000 for the first time since records began, with one month of 2018 still remaining.
Councillor Moriarty praised the work of medical professionals but expressed her concern for the months ahead as hospital overcrowding typically peaks during the winter months.
“Long gone are the days of Health Ministers saying overcrowding is a winter phenomenon due to seasonal flu,” she said. “I applaud the work being done by the medical professionals under these horrendous circumstances, but I dread to think what the rest of December will bring, and I fear for the safety of patients
“The people of Kerry are being affected by this atrocious overcrowding. Many of the people on trolleys are older, highly vulnerable people who cannot afford to be left waiting in hospital corridors.
“People are terrified of needing to go to their local emergency department. It also means that our doctors and nurses are working in often unbearable conditions.”
The Fianna Fáil Councillor has called on the HSE to identify ‘quick wins’ where a few beds can be supplied immediately.
“The way to address this overcrowding is two-fold,” she said. “The first thing that must happen is that patients who can be treated in step-down, non-acute facilities need to be discharged as soon as possible. Secondly, we need to see new acute beds brought on stream as soon as possible.”