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INMO Trolley/Ward Watch Figures Confirm Continuing Record Levels of Overcrowding 07.11.17
Press Release
- 82,459 people on trolleys, in Emergency Departments or Wards, in first 10 months of 2017;
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) Trolley/Ward Watch figures, for the month of October and, year to date, confirm, that the level of overcrowding, arising from admitted patients being left on trolleys in Emergency Departments, or wards, continues to reach record levels.
The latest figures confirm the following:
  • In October there were 8,903 patients, admitted for care, for whom there was no in-patient bed - see here for table.
  • This represents a 15% increase when compared to October 2016; and
  • In the first 10 months of this year (January to October) there were 82,459 patients, admitted for care, with no in-patient bed available - see here for table
  • This represents an 8% increase, on the first 10 months of 2016, and a 96% increase in the first 10 months of 2007.
The figures also confirm that, in October, the levels of overcrowding, in Dublin hospitals, had increased, when compared to October 2016. This follows a number of months when, in Dublin, levels of overcrowding had reduced.
However in hospitals, outside of Dublin, the situation continues to deteriorate, significantly, with record levels both in the month of October and in the 10 months of the year to date.
In the month of October the hospitals with the highest number patients, on trolleys, were:
  • University Hospital Limerick:                         719
  • University Hospital Galway:                          679
  • Cork University Hospital:                               635
  • South Tipperary General Hospital:                546
  • St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny:                          495
However the figures also show very marked increases in other hospitals including:
  • Wexford General Hospital – from 55 in October 2016 to 241 in October 2017;
  • Letterkenny University Hospital – from 121 in October 2016 to 459 in October 2017.
The INMO will meet with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), on 30th November 2017, following our request for unannounced inspections of all Emergency Departments/Wards. At this meeting the INMO will again be calling upon the HSA to issue directions to ensure nursing, and other frontline staff, have a safe working environment.  It is not acceptable that staff should have to work, in such overcrowded environments, on a daily basis.
Commenting on the latest figures INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said:
“These figures, yet again, confirm the obvious reality that our public health service is critically short of acute hospital beds, which is having a serious, detrimental and harmful effect upon patient care.
It is imperative, as we enter the winter period, that all hospitals are empowered and supported to allow  the following:
  • open all available beds;
  • introduce incentivised packages to recruit and retain the required numbers of additional nursing staff to allow for the opening of these beds and ensure safe staffing in all EDs and wards;
  • initiate rostered attendance, by senior clinical decision makers, over the extended day 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m., over the seven day cycle; and
  • ensure all available transitional and long term care beds, home care packages and home help hours, as required, without a waiting list, are available to all community nursing management/services.
In order to address this crisis there cannot be any restriction, on the funds available to increase the capacity of the health service, as we enter the winter period”.
Mr. Doran concluded:
“The Emergency Department Taskforce is scheduled to meet on 4th December 2017.  The INMO will be seeking confirmation, at this meeting, that all of the foregoing measures, together with any other initiatives necessary to address this crisis, have been introduced across the system”.
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