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Spike in patients sees 130 on Dublin trolleys in 'crowded' hospitals

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Two dozen patients had to wait on trolleys at Dublin’s Mater Hospital yesterday morning. Photo: Tony Gavin/INM

Two dozen patients had to wait on trolleys at Dublin’s Mater Hospital yesterday morning. Photo: Tony Gavin/INM

Two dozen patients had to wait on trolleys at Dublin’s Mater Hospital yesterday morning. Photo: Tony Gavin/INM

More than 130 patients were waiting on trolleys in hospitals across the Dublin region yesterday, new figures reveal.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) reported a spike in the number of patients waiting on trolleys across emergency departments, wards and elsewhere in hospitals.

The figures taken from hospitals throughout Ireland yesterday morning show the highest number of patients on trolleys in the Dublin region was in Tallaght University Hospital, with 33 waiting for beds.

Twenty-five of these were in the emergency department.

Failed

"Dublin's hospitals have seen a spike in patients forced to wait without beds on trolleys," an INMO spokesman said.

"This is all about capacity. The HSE hasn't been able to expand hospital capacity because they can't get the staff.

"At the same time, they've failed to seriously invest in community care and step-down facilities.

"We see extreme overcrowding like this because Ireland's hospitals are constantly at or above maximum capacity."

The Mater recorded the second highest number in the region, with 24 people waiting on trolleys, all within the emergency department.

St James's and St Vincent's hospitals came joint third with 17 patients waiting on trolleys, all within the emergency room.

Nationally, University Hospital Limerick recorded the highest number on trolleys yesterday - 76 - with 57 within the emergency department.

A total of 531 patients were waiting on trolleys yesterday morning across the country, according to the INMO Trolley Watch figures, with 383 in emergency departments and 148 elsewhere in hospitals.

The report states that patients "are often being treated on trolleys in corridors but they may also be on chairs, in waiting rooms, or simply wherever there's space".

An HSE spokesperson said last night: "While the winter period initiatives are coming to an end, acute hospitals are continuing to see growth in attendances that are not flu-related.

"Many of the patients presenting require longer periods of hospitalisation due to underlying conditions and frailty.

"Hospitals are continuing to focus on ensuring patient discharges are being planned in advance.

"Early access to diagnostics is available and that senior clinical decision-makers are seeing patients as early as possible to enable patients who do not need to be admitted to leave."

Meanwhile, the HSE has confirmed an outbreak of measles in Dublin, with 10 cases identified since February.

Adults working in the city centre are among those who have been affected, by the highly contagious disease.

Symptoms can include fever and rash.