Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
Alamy Stock Photo
Trolley crisis

Health minister tells taskforce that roster reform is needed to tackle hospital overcrowding

The Emergency Department TaskForce convened this afternoon to discuss lack of sufficient resources for patient numbers.

MINISTER FOR HEALTH Stephen Donnelly has told a meeting of healthcare officials that he believes Ireland’s hospitals will need to move to a full 7-day roster rather than relying on an on-call or emergency service at weekends to tackle overcrowding.

Donnelly attended a meeting of the Emergency Department TaskForce this afternoon, which was formed in 2015 to try to develop solutions to overcrowding in EDs.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) had called for today’s meeting due to what it described as the “perilous situation” in Irish hospitals.

Hospital overcrowding has been the subject of attention for many years but has continued to affect patients’ experiences in the healthcare system.

At this afternoon’s meeting, Donnelly said that a focus must be placed on continuing to reduce the number of patients on trolleys and on implementing the agreed Urgent and Emergency Care Plan for this year, particularly the uptake of flu and Covid-19 booster vaccine programmes and investment in capacity and reforms.

He said that resolving the issue of patients being left waiting for extended periods on trolleys is a problem not only for emergency departments but across the health service.

It is understood that HSE CEO Bernard Gloster supported the minister’s comments on rostering reform.

According to INMO, which maintains a daily tracker of the number of patients on trolleys, 385 patients admitted to hospitals were still waiting for beds this morning. 

266 of those were waiting in emergency departments, with a further 119 in wards elsewhere in the hospitals.

Additional reporting by Valerie Flynn

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel