Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the increase in the number of patients on trolleys for the month of October as “completely unacceptable.”
The Sinn Féin TD said that the figures, released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), show that the amount of people on trolleys in our hospitals is increasing month on month and that it can never be normalised.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“There have been record levels of people left on trolleys for the first 10 months of 2017, and as we enter into the winter, this problem will become even more acute.
“So far this year there have been 82,459 patients left on trolleys throughout the various hospitals. These numbers are a serious cause for concern, especially as we move into the flu season when the health service will be put under extreme pressure.
“Throughout the month of October 8,903 patients were admitted for care when there was no in-patient bed available. These numbers represent a full 15% increase when compared to October last year.
“It is now looking highly probable that 2017 will be the first year where there will have been over 100,000 people left on trolleys in hospitals throughout the State.
“The situation is clearly getting worse. In 2017 there is a 96% increase in the number of people who were on trolleys compared to this time 10 years ago.”
Deputy Crowe said a different approach is now called for and said issues must be addressed from the top down.
“Minister Harris needs to get real about addressing the core issues which created this crisis. He needs to tackle the four main areas behind this crisis including recruitment and retention of staff, reopening of closed beds, adequate step down facilities, and proper primary and community care.
“This approach will not only reduce the number of patients on trolleys in our hospitals, but it will also ensure that those who are in our hospital system will get the necessary care they need.
“A different approach would also give respite to the excellent staff working in our health service, so that they can continue to provide the best possible care to patients.”