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12 January 2018, 09:35 | Devin Moran
6,563 The trolley crisis is shocking and unacceptable.
2 days ago
0 M. Seosamh O Maoileoin
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 a year ago.
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.
Health Minister Simon Harris has apologised to the hundreds of patients waiting for beds in hospitals across the country this week.
Other hospitals with bad overcrowding included St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny, where 46 people were left waiting on trolleys.
Nationally, there were 656 patients on trolleys, the highest number ever recorded.
Another take on the solutions for the trolley situation came from older people's charity Alone, which said that older people tend to end up in hospital more due to a lack of support in the community.
In his statement this evening, Minister Harris said he wanted to recognise the "intense efforts of all our staff across the health service", while acknowledging the "very hard conditions" patients are experiencing at this time.
"We are also seeing children who need a hospital bed being held overnight in emergency departments; a new and worrying trend that is not captured in any of the official figures".
Figures on trolleys fell from a high of 677 on Wednesday, to 483 this morning, but according to HSE figures which do not include patients on wards, the numbers are still 14% higher than the same day a year ago.
"High levels of burnout have been reported amongst nurses working in overcrowded environments", she said.
He said the numbers are coming down and the situation should stabilise in the next few days.
Mr Harris said that bed capacity will continue to be increased.
Ms. Ni Sheaghdha warned: "There is ample evidence which confirms that high ED occupancy is associated with increased in-hospital mortality following admission from overcrowded EDs".
Health Minister Simon Harris said yesterday he is committed to opening more beds and reforming the system.
January typically sees the highest numbers on the trolley watch as the flu virus peaks and leads to increased demand for in-patient services on the already under pressure hospital system.
Nearly 200 people have been hospitalised with the flu and a small number - less than 10- of people have died.
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