Beaumont suffering record trolley 'crisis'
ONE of Dublin's largest hospitals was today in "full-blown crisis" as frontline staff struggled to deal with massive numbers of patients on trolleys, the Herald can reveal.
A record 47 patients lay on trolleys in Beaumont Hospital as nurses and doctors struggled to cope with the substantial number.
Senior sources at the hospital today described the situation as a "full-blown crisis", warning that hospital staff are at "breaking point".
The number of patients lying on trolleys in the capital's main hospital has reached its highest peak in months.
And a spokesperson for Beaumont today said that the high level of trolley patients has caused considerable "concern" for hospital authorities.
The Irish Patients Association today urged Health Minister James Reilly to visit Beaumont "immediately" before the crisis rages out of control.
However, senior hospital sources told the Herald that the number lying on trolleys will "reach unprecedented levels" in the coming months.
"People hear and read all the time about Beaumont and other hospitals. But to work on the frontline is just pure hell.
"We are at crisis level, make no mistake about it," a senior source said.
"This is not like it's been before in Beaumont. Frontline staff are pulling their hair out -- it's a disaster here," the source added.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) reported yesterday that 47 patients were lying on trolleys in the hope of being treated.
Although Beaumont Hospital often has reported the highest level of trolley patients nationwide, this number was described as "unprecedented" by health groups today.
A hospital spokesperson admitted that the number was of concern to Beaumont authorities.
"Delays in the transfer of patients from the Emergency Department to wards is a matter of concern to the hospital.
"The hospital continues to work closely with the Special Delivery Unit in the Department of Health and the HSE to develop sustainable long-term solutions," a spokesperson told the Herald.
But the spokesperson claimed that the highest trolley peak was 44 patients -- not the 47 patients reported by the Department of Health recognised INMO trolley watch.
Fianna Fail Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher today described the figures as "the most shocking of its kind in 2012".
"This is not acceptable. The Herald reported last week about the situation in the Mater but this is a full-blown crisis."