60 on trolleys in one hospital
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda had nearly 60 patients waiting admission on trolleys in its emergency department this morning.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) in addition to 58 patients on trolleys in Drogheda, there were also high trolley ED numbers today at University Hospital Galway, which had 52 awaiting admission, and at Cork University Hospital, which had 42 patients on trolleys.
The INMO claimed today that in Galway, the full capacity protocol, under which patients are moved on to trolleys in wards, was not working.
It said currently in Galway, 34 patients are waiting for admission in the ED, 12 in the medical assessment unit, and six patients are being nursed on trolleys on wards.
It said the overcrowding was continuing despite the full capacity protocol being implemented and called for closed beds to be reopened.
Nationally, there were 471 patients on hospital trolleys this morning.
Nursing unions are to protest outside Government Buildings tomorrow at overcrowding and safety in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.
Nursing unions have already held work stoppages at the Limerick Hospital in protest at overcrowding there. Recent talks at the LRC failed to find a resolution to the dispute.
A report last week on the Limerick ED situation by Health Minister James Reilly's Special Delivery Unit (SDU) recommended that that improvements in managing hospital capacity and an initiative to improve hospital management performance be put in place at the hospital.
The nursing unions claimed that the HSE had refused all options put to them to resolve the ED crisis at Limerick. The HSE, however, denied that it had rejected all options and said a proposal for extra working hours to support the Limerick ED was refused by unions.
Meanwhile, the Minister's SDU is initially focusing on how to resolve the ongoing ED crisis, before it tackled inpatient waiting lists.
According to a report in Irish Medical News, hospitals are currently working with the head of the unit, Dr Martin Connor, in developing ways to manage the traditional winter surge in demand at emergency departments, and an activity analysis of all hospital EDs is being undertaken.
Minister Reilly ius due to announce further details of how the SDU will tackle the ED crisis and waiting lists later this month.
[Posted: Tue 11/10/2011]