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'Strong possibility' of strike action after cancer patient left on trolley for five days

The man was one of 40 in need of a bed in the overcrowded Emergency Department in Our Lady of Lourdes.

Image: Mark Stedman via RollingNews.ie

Updated at 7.30pm

AN ELDERLY CANCER patient was left waiting on a hospital trolley in Louth for five days.

The man was one of 40 in need of a bed in the overcrowded Emergency Department in Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda.

The Emergency Department in Drogheda is also short of five nurses and the INMO says staff are struggling to cope with this level of sustained overcrowding.

From January to August this year, 5,480 patients have spent time on trolleys in the Emergency Department or overcrowded wards of Drogheda hospital.

Industrial relations officer with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Tony Fitzpatrick said:

“The level of overcrowding within the Accident & Emergency Department in Drogheda is dangerous and is putting the health, safety and well-being of patients and staff at risk.”

When asked on RTÉs Morning Ireland if industrial action was on the cards, Fitzpatrick said:

It’s a very strong possibility. For 14 months in a row now, the figures have been worse than the months beforehand.

Drogheda Hospital released a statement this morning stating that a new building with eight beds will open tomorrow.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has accused the government of “failing patients attending Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda”.

“There needs to be urgent review of government policy and funding for the Health Service to end the scandal of patients stuck on trolleys in Emergency Departments.”

“New measures introduced by the Minister for Health are inadequate and the €74 million additional funding provided several months ago has failed to achieve any significant improvement in Emergency Department trolley numbers.”

Read: Dublin hospital has highest number of patients on trolleys>

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