43 on trolleys & 39 covid patients as Kilkenny SIPTU representative says situation at St Luke’s Hospital is ‘desperate’

St Luke’s is one of the busiest hospitals in the country again today.

The INMO is reporting 43 patients waiting on a bed at the local hospital this morning – 28 of them in the Emergency Department.

The number of confirmed covid cases is up to 39 today with one of those patients in ICU.

Local SIPTU representative Denis Hynes says its a “desperate situation that’s been going on for  far too long now”.

He says the growing number of covid infections is having a huge impact on the staff at the hospital who are hugely concerned.

A statement issued to KCLR news on behalf of St Luke’s Hospital today confirms the Emergency Department is particularly busy at the moment:

“Like all Emergency Departments across the country St Luke’s Hospital’s Emergency Department is  extremely busy with high numbers of patients attending, many of are presenting  with Covid 19 and complex needs requiring admission”. 

It says long waiting times can be expected at the Acute Medical Assessment Unit and the Emergency Department but staff will continue to give priority to the sickest patients and most urgent cases.

In the meantime the HSE is urging people to consider other options before presenting at the hospital:

“There are a range of care pathways available to patients who do not need emergency care including Pharmacists, GP,  and GP Out of Hours Services”

It goes on to urge “all patients where appropriate to consult with their GP prior to attending an Emergency Department. In an emergency situation, Emergency Departments continue to deal with all medical emergencies”

Meanwhile the INMO says political intervention is needed now with 654 patients on trolleys in hospitals around the country today.

At the same time there are 1,395 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our hospitals.

HSE boss Paul Reid admits the virus is having a crippling effect on staffing in the health service at the moment:

” We have 4,300 staff out in the HSE with covid. On top of that we have a further nearly 1,000 people out in nursing homes”