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A&E Overcrowding – 5 Year Review Confirms Crisis Deepening. 14/02/11
Over 75,000 people on trolleys in 2010

PRESS RELEASE,  Monday, February 14th, 2011

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, following an analysis of the last five years (2006-2010) of its trolley watch figures, has found that in 2010, the number of people on trolleys, awaiting an in-patient bed, had increased, since 2006, by 35% to over 75,000.

The full trend, over this five year period, is itemised on the attached sheet and confirms the following:

  • 2006 – 55,720
  • 2007 – 50,402
  • 2008 – 59,435
  • 2009 – 63,682
  • 2010 – 75,007

These figures confirm that:

  • the initiatives, commenced in 2006, did have a temporary positive impact upon this problem;
  • the phasing out of those positive initiatives, since 2008, has resulted in a steep increase in the level of A&E overcrowding and patients on trolleys; and,
  • 2010 is now confirmed as the worst year on record for overcrowding in the country’s A&E Departments.

It should also be remembered that the trend, in the first weeks of 2011, suggests that the problem continues to deepen as the health cutbacks hit frontline services with over 1700 beds closed across the country.

As the general election date looms the INMO now calls for a clear declaration, from all parties contesting the election, as to what measures they will introduce within 30 days of being in government, to address this crisis, alleviate the indignity on patients and reduce the excessive workloads on frontline staff.

Speaking today, on the publication of this analysis, INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran said:

“There is very little to be added to the picture confirmed by these stark and shocking figures.

The recent announcement, that a “team of experts” had landed in six or seven of the worst affected hospitals, to advise on this problem, 8 years after it began, only adds insult to the injury being suffered by patients, every day, as a result of this national disgrace.

We do not need experts to tell us that we need to open the closed beds, provide nurse led minor injury clinics and additional resources for primary care services in order to deal with this problem.

The other recent suggestion, leaked to the media by the Department of Health,  that the problem can be solved by placing extra beds on in-patient wards is also a tried, flawed and failed practice of the past which should never be revisited.

The general election now provides the opportunity for all political parties, seeking to have a say in the government of this country, to outline exactly what they will do to address what is, by any measurement, as great a national emergency as our economic problems.”


Trolley Watch Report :  2006 - 2010
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie