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INMO Trolley/Ward Watch Figures Confirm Overcrowding at Record Levels 04.09.17
Press Release
- 7,781 admitted patients, on trolleys in August, up 27% on 2016
- 65,455 people, admitted for care, on trolleys in first 8 months of 2017, up 7% on 2016
The latest trolley/ward watch figures (which can be seen here), from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) confirm that the level of hospital overcrowding, which sees admitted patients on trolleys in Emergency Departments or wards, remains at a record high with a 27% increase in August 2017 (7,781) compared to August 2016 (6,136). 
A further serious indication of the growing crisis is the fact that in the first 8 months of the year (see here) 65,455 people were admitted for care but had no bed which represents a 7% increase on 2016 but a 90% increase on 10 years ago 2007.
These latest figures are released ahead of today’s  meeting of the national Emergency Department Implementation Group which is due to commence at 2.00p.m.
The hospitals which experienced the highest levels of overcrowding, in August, were:
  • University Hosptial Limerick – 835 (32 in 2007)
  • University Hospital, Galway – 643 (123 in 2007)
  • South Tipperary General Hospital – 489 (82 in 2007)
  • University Hospital Waterford – 486 (0 in 2007)
  • Cork University Hospital – 457 (189 in 2007)
  • Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore – 452 (2 in 2007)
  • Mater Hospital Dublin – 436 (315 in 2007)
In view of these figures the INMO, at today’s ED meeting, will be seeking implementation of all emergency measures identified in the taskforce report, launched in 2015, including:
  • Senior clinical decision makers rostered on an extended day basis over the 7 days;
  • Nurse managers provided with full autonomy to recruit additional staff to ensure patient care standards are maintained;
  • Senior general managers present in the hospitals on a 24/7 basis; and,
Full implementation of the national directive on escalation, signed jointly by the Minister and Director General of the HSE, which directs hospital managements to :
  • implement certain measures, on a daily basis, in response to signs of overcrowding;
  • review capacity, for services, on a daily basis; and,
  • Introduce fines for hospitals that do not implement this national directive to manage overcrowding.
The INMO notes, and welcomes, the recent comments, from Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, confirming the need for a major increase in the capacity (size) of the health service.  What is now required is for the whole of government to provide additional resources to allow this increase in bed and service capacity, over the next three years.
INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran  speaking this morning said:
“There is no doubt that the level of attention required to manage trolley overcrowding has dropped in recent months.  The abnormal, and very harmful and detrimental, effects, of overcrowding, are no longer viewed as requiring urgent action as the HSE focuses on measuring and counting the problem rather than addressing it.    It is clear that setting of targets, whether they be for patients over 75, patients waiting to be seen or patients waiting for a decision to admit/discharge has not had any positive effect upon the management of the overcrowding crisis.  The monitoring and reporting of the  targets has now become the priority for management rather than the actions necessary to protect patients and frontline staff.”   
Mr Doran concluded:  “In the context of successive months, with record levels of overcrowding, serious concerns should be apparent, to all parties attending today’s meeting, as we enter the autumn/winter period.  Management, at all levels, must implement the actions detailed in the taskforce report, on a 24/7 basis and treat this crisis as a national emergency.”
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:0016640600 E:inmo@inmo.ie