herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Beaumont back in crisis as 50 patients left to wait on trolleys

Beaumont Hospital had nearly 50 patients on trolleys and wards waiting for beds yesterday as the overcrowding crisis continued to hit patients.

The hospital had the highest numbers waiting for a bed in the Dublin region, with 42 patients on trolleys and six on wards, according to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

Nationwide, it recorded a total of 518 patients waiting on trolleys and wards.

Lorraine Monaghan, an INMO Industrial Relations Officer said that the numbers on trolleys at Beaumont were concerning.

"Overcrowding continues to be problematic in Beaumont Hospital, and it will continue at the levels that it's at until the delayed discharge problem is tackled, and that means increasing availability of step-down beds in the community.

"Some work is being done to make more beds available, however that needs to be fast-tracked, and these beds need to be opened with appropriate staffing levels, so that people who have completed the acute phase of their care can be moved to a more appropriate setting," she said.

Capacity

"In Beaumont Hospital, you can have between 70 and 100 plus patients that are clinically discharged, but they continue to occupy the in-patients beds, so that's impacting severely on capacity in the hospital.

"It means patients who are admitted have no other choice but to wait on a trolley or chair in the emergency department, until a bed becomes available in the hospital. That is the major problem that needs to be tackled to address the over-crowding," Ms Monaghan told the Herald.

Ms Monaghan said that in relation to Beaumont, talks are continuing locally with management.

"They have commenced the recruitment campaign to increase the staffing levels in the emergency department, which is absolutely essential," she said.

"When you have that demand on the emergency department and that level of overcrowding with is persistent and which is chronic, you need to have sufficient staffing levels to provide a safe level of care for those patients."

Ms Monaghan said that management is keeping the union up to date on the availability of community beds and home care packages. Meanwhile, the emergency department taskforce, which is charged with tackling the ongoing overcrowding in hospitals, met earlier this week.

fdillon@herald.ie

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