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Almost 25,000 People On Trolleys, Waiting For A Bed, In First Three Months Of 2011 05.04.11

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), following a comparative survey, of its trolley watch figures for the first three months of each of the last six years, shows that a record of almost 25,000 people were on trolleys, awaiting a bed, in the country’s A&E Departments.

This record figure confirms, yet again, that this crisis continues to worsen despite all of the repeated commitments, by government and management, that this issue will be addressed.

In relation to this specific survey the INMO would also make the following points:

1. This record level of overcrowding was inevitable as a result of the cutbacks in health services including closed beds and the reduction in community based home supports and services.

2. This chronic situation will be further exacerbated if the threat of more beds to be closed, as recently suggested, comes to pass.

3. Overcrowding wards, in an effort to hide the extent of the problem, is only resulting in the care of all in-patients being compromised leading to incidents of hospital infection.

4. These figures confirm the need for the new Minister to act immediately, and that does not mean closing beds or curtailing further services, to address this issue and to ensure, as he has recently stated, that we will never again see 500 people on trolleys.

The INMO also wishes to restate that it’s trolley watch figures have been taken in the same manner, every week day, since 2004.  We view the 8.00 a.m. count as the most critical and we stand over all of the figures that we have highlighted over this period.  We will continue to do our count, each morning, and to publish them as we have done since 2004.

Speaking this morning INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“This quarterly survey only reaffirms the need for immediate, effective and sustained measures to be introduced, which must include additional bed capacity, in order to alleviate this problem.

We are awaiting an early meeting with the Minister, to discuss this and other issues.  We also await learning of what initiatives he intends to introduce to ensure that patients are always treated in a safe environment which allows them dignity and privacy and enables frontline professionals to provide all the care they require in the appropriate place”.


Trolley Watch Report :  2006 - 2011
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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