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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 3 December 2020
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More than 200 patients waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals on Christmas Eve

The number is down from the more than 400 who were waiting for a bed yesterday morning.

Image: Shutterstock

THERE WERE MORE than 200 patients waiting on trolleys in hospitals across the country this morning.

The number is down from the more than 400 patients waiting for a bed yesterday morning, as hospitals work to free up beds in the run up to Christmas.

The highest number of patients on trolleys this morning was in University Hospital Limerick (49), followed by Portiuncula Hospital (18). According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), in total there were 217 patients on trolleys, with the majority (157) in Emergency Departments. 

The hospitals with no patients on trolleys were:

  • Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin;
  • Temple Street Children’s Hospital;
  • Letterkenny University Hospital;
  • Midwestern Regional Hospital in Ennis;
  • Nenagh General Hospital;
  • Sligo University Hospital.

In a message to INMO, Health Minister Simon Harris said he wanted to express his “gratitude and thanks” to all nurses and midwives working over the Christmas period.

“Their dedication and commitment is a source of national pride and something for which I am very grateful.”

The National Treatment Purchase Fund agreed to a request from Minister Harris to support costs of funding additional beds for three months, until the end of March 2020.

The Minister has said this initiative will help to alleviate winter pressures in the hospital system. Hospitals were invited to make submissions to utilise the fund and so far it has approved 172 additional beds. These additional beds will cost approximately €4.6 million.

“Given the challenges facing the Emergency Departments, with the exceptionally high use of trolleys for patients, I would urge all hospital groups and individual hospitals, which have not already done so, to engage with the NTPF to identify proposals to provide additional bed capacity for the winter period,” Harris said earlier this month.

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