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Dublin: 21 °C Tuesday 19 June, 2018
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Conditions at Tipperary hospital 'undignified, disgraceful and dangerous'

This morning there were 378 patients on trolleys in Irish hospitals.

Image: bed image via Shutterstock

BED SHORTAGES ACROSS the country are continuing to cause serious problems in hospitals, health professionals have said.

This morning there were 378 patients on trolleys in Irish hospitals. Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Professor Paul O’Regan, Consultant Physician at South Tipperary General said there were 30 patients on trolleys at his hospital.

He described conditions there as “dreadful for patients, it’s undignified, disgraceful, dangerous for patients”.

It’s impossible almost for staff to work to an adequate, safe level and it puts tremendous pressure on the nurses, paramedical staff and doctors.

O’Regan said the conditions also make recruitment and retainment of staff difficult because “people burn out and give up and move on elsewhere”. Just last week seven senior nurses left the hospital, he said.

The bed shortage at South Tipperary General is the result of cuts to bed numbers nationally and the closure of the level 3 hospital in Nenagh, according to O’Regan.

“We are effectively the acute hospital for much of Tipperary.”

He said the process of addressing the problem was a “painful” one and that a solution would probably take years to put in place because of the red tape involved.

Yesterday, the Mater Hospital in Dublin asked the public, where possible, to attend their GP or the Rapid Injury Clinic in Smithfield for minor injuries rather than going to the Emergency Department. The hospital said it was experiencing “very high numbers and protracted wait times”.

Today, O’Regan had similar advice for patients in Tipperary.

“If you have a very acute illness, come to us and we’ll look after you. If you’ve anything that will wait, go to a private hospital and pay, because all of the public hospitals in Munster are in similar – if not quite as bad – situations.”

Read: There has actually been a slight drop in people on hospital trolleys this year>

Read: Elderly woman spends 15 hours on hospital trolley>

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