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New hospital scandal: 93-year-old woman spends 29 hours on trolley at Beaumont

The woman’s grand-niece has described the situation in the hospital as a “shambles”.

Image: leah farrell/Photocall Ireland

ANOTHER HOSPITAL TROLLEY scandal has emerged today.

News that a 93-year-old woman from north Dublin spent around 29 hours on a hospital trolley in Beaumont comes on the heels of a week of health service controversies – including a similar incident involving an elderly man at Tallaght Hospital.

Essie Tiernan from the Naul was taken from a nursing home to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon suffering with a recurring infection, RTÉ revealed this morning.

She spent 29 hours on a trolley – in pain and suffering from pressure sores – as she waited for a hospital bed.

Her grand-niece, Michelle Cleary, told Morning Ireland she had waited with her relative from 6pm on Wednesday evening, and described the situation in the hospital as a “shambles”.

Essie had “no dignity” as she waited, Michelle said – adding that “half of Dublin” must now know the private medical details of her hard-of-hearing grand-aunt.

A “very badly injured” man was beside her as she waited, and at one point a hospital worker accidentally knocked an iv drip out of the elderly woman’s arm. Michelle added that at one point she was asked to leave by a security guard as she had been waiting alongside the trolley so long, but she refused to go.

Essie was eventually given a bed at 8pm last night.

Beaumont

In a statement, Beaumont Hospital said it acknowledged and regretted “the difficult conditions experienced by patients and staff at its Emergency Department”.

“If patients or their families have concerns about care received in Beaumont, we invite them to contact the hospital’s Patient Representative Office to discuss the matter.

“The hospital has one of the busiest EDs in Ireland, providing services to over 50,000 patients each year. 2015 has seen an increase in attendances at the ED along with an older profile and a greater complexity of illness in patients presenting.

“It is Beaumont Hospital’s practice to treat all patients with dignity and care.  Staff endeavour to free as many beds as possible to meet demand each day.

It added:

“A total of 33 in-patient ward beds are not available at present, due in part to essential refurbishment work for transplant patients.  This work is due to be completed in the coming weeks.”

Read: Health service scandals: Leo Varadkar faced some tough questions today

Read: Tallaght Hospital to probe how information on 91-year-old patient was given to media

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