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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Irish hospitals aren't the only ones dealing with an overcrowding crisis

It’s a very similar story in England.

6c2f54e818a3f9df5e7f00a5a49588ae Source: @TheMediaTweets

THE FRONT PAGES of Irish newspapers were dominated today by rising waiting times for beds in Ireland’s increasingly overcrowded hospitals.

Here in Ireland, HSE Director General said the number of patients in emergency departments had reached a level where some ‘can’t be categorised as safe’.

Tony O’Brien said the 28 emergency departments in the country were “all experiencing slightly different levels of stress, demand and overcrowding”.

A spokesperson for the INMO said the overcrowding situation this morning was “more or less the same as yesterday” when over 600 patients were found to be waiting for hospital beds around the country.

Across in the United Kingdom, the headlines were almost interchangeable.

Major incidents

As many as 15 English hospitals have declared major incidents following what the Guardian describes as ‘an unprecedented demand on their services’.

Patients are waiting hours for a bed, and some hospitals are cancelling routine operations. The Independent notes a rise in the levels of flu and chest infections.

There’s has also been a roughly 20% increase in the number of delayed patient tranfers.

It’s a similar story in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

“There are thousands of people today waiting on a trolley in hospital corridors, held in the back of ambulances outside A&E, people who cannot get the care they need in a very serious situation,” Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham told Sky News.

He also highlighted reports that emergency services are resorting to fire engines and police cars to transport patients to hospital.

The Telegraph reports that one trust had to open a field hospital.

Figures released this morning show that English emergency department waiting times targets were missed for the last three months of 2014 in the worst results since they were introduced a decade ago.

Calls from from the Labour party for an emergency summit to deal with a crisis have been dismissed.

Prime Minister David Cameron has denied that Britain’s A&Es are close to collapse, but conceded that they are under pressure.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt toed a similar line. He believes the NHS can cope. It’s dealing with more patients than ever, staff were working harder than ever, but targets reached “are actually better than any other country in the world that measures these things”, he told BBC Radio 4.

The Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb also firmly denied that it has become a crisis.

So what about our Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and his views on Ireland’s situation? We’ll find out later.

Overcrowding crisis: Surgeries cancelled at Beaumont as trolley figures remain high >

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Nicky Ryan

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