UHK trol­ley fig­ures up 522 per cent in seven yrs

CLLR NORMA MO­RI­ARTY: ‘WE NEED TO SEE NEW ACUTE BEDS IM­ME­DI­ATELY’

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS - By TADHG EVANS

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.”

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