The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s calling on the HSE to take steps to alleviate the pressure in our hospitals after numbers surged over the bank holiday weekend.
30 people are waiting on a bed at St Luke’s General Hospital today, 24 of them in the local emergency department with six on other wards.
They’re among 683 in that position at hopsitals across the country according to the INMO’s daily Trolley Watch.
Its General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha says; “We are once again seeing another predictable post-bank holiday trolley surge in hospitals around the country this morning.
“The level of overcrowding across hospital sites is incredibly dangerous. These types of post-bank holiday surges are not new. There is no point in the HSE issuing statements describing how bad the problem is, they should have been taking preventative measures in the week leading up to the bank holiday to ensure that we didn’t find ourselves in the position we are in today.
“The HSE must outline what steps it is taking to alleviate the pressure in our hospitals over the in the immediate and short-term, and for the St. Patrick’s Day and Easter bank holidays which will happen in quick succession.
“It is clear that the system is now completely overwhelmed. We need targeted measures to tackle this crisis, particularly in the Midwest where overcrowding is completely out of hand.”
Meanwhile, the HSE has issued a statement today saying winter respiratory viruses are still circulating at high levels, despite passing the peak.
They’re appealing again for people to consider all care options
According to Damien McCallion, the HSE’s Chief Operations Officer:“Many of our Emergency Departments are extremely busy this weekend. While we have seen a dip in numbers of COVID 19 and ‘flu from the January peak, there are still high levels of respiratory illness circulating and impacting our hospitals. Those who believe they may be seriously ill and require emergency care should come to hospital, but we would ask others who are not seriously ill, to consider seeking support from pharmacists, GPs, GP Out of Hours Services and Injury Units”.
He added “A number of surge measures have been put in place as part of the HSE Urgent and Emergency Care Plan to reduce the number of patients waiting on trolleys for an acute bed and reduce the number of patients over the age of 75 waiting in emergency departments after a decision has been made to admit them for ongoing care and treatment.”
We have seen significant improvements in 2024 versus 2023. While we have seen increased attendances of close to 15%, we’ve seen some improvements in the number of patients delayed in hospitals, the average trolleys every week, and also the statistics for older people where we put a particular focus on to ensure that those patients over 75 were admitted or discharged within 24 hours. We do not want to be complacent and would like to take every opportunity to ensure our EDs treat those who need emergency care as quickly and safely as possible.”