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Tallaght Hospital staff told to urgently discharge patients to alleviate overcrowding

Hospital CEO sent text message to staff this morning, calling for immediate discharges after 35 patients were kept on trolleys there yesterday.

Image: Mark Hillary via Creative Commons

TALLAGHT HOSPITAL’S ACTING CEO sent an urgent text to his staff this morning, calling for patients to be discharged in an effort to tackle overcrowding at the hospital, the Medical Independent reports.

The MI says all junior doctors and consultants at the hospital received the text message first thing this morning.

The message said: “28 patients in EM [Emergency]. Discharged urgently required.”

A hospital spokesperson could not be contacted this evening, but told the MI earlier today that Tallaght’s emergency department is very busy and the situation is being actively monitored.

She said “the hospital is making every effort to reduce the pressure. A number of patients have been admitted to beds and the situation remains under review”.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), which monitors the number of patients on trolleys at hospitals around the country, says that 35 people were on trolleys in Tallaght Hospital yesterday and today that number has fallen slightly to 27. In total, the INMO says that 432 patients are on trolleys today.

Last month, the INMO announced that 2010 had been the worst year for hospital overcrowding, after the number of people waiting without beds increased by a third over the past five years.

A study by doctors at St James’ Hospital in Dublin has found that every year, around 100 patients who wait in A&E without beds because there were not enough spaces for them die within 30 days, the Irish Independent reported yesterday.

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