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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 4 April, 2020

'Record-breaking month': Over 10,000 patients were on trolleys during March

Today there were 485 patients on trolleys with 338 in emergency departments and a further 147 on wards.

Image: Syda Productions via Shutterstock

THERE WERE OVER 10,000 people on trolleys across Ireland in what the INMO described as a “record-breaking March”.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) analysed its Trolley/Ward watch figures for the month of March which they said broke all records for that month with 10,511 patients waiting for an in-patient bed.

The INMO saw a record-breaking trolley figures of 3,112 in just one week in March and a new high figure of 714  patients on trolleys awaiting admission on one day. 191 children also waited on trolleys.

Today there were 485 patients on trolleys with 338 in emergency departments and a further 147 on wards.

INMO officials representing hospitals with consistently high numbers said that:

Speaking today, INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “A figure of 495 was considered a national emergency in 2006. We expect that next week’s figures will be high as our hospitals and staff continue to be overburdened particularly following the bank holiday  weekend.

During the month of March the INMO called for extraordinary measures to be put in place to focus on recovering from the adverse weather event, ensuring prioritisation of emergency care requiring all non-urgent and routine cases to be cancelled during that period. We are now calling for these measures to be implemented again. In this crisis all measures to properly resource and staff the health service must be explored and the assistance of services in the private acute hospitals must also be sought.

Earlier this month, it emerged that some 714 people were on trolleys on one day – the highest figure ever recorded by the INMO.

Speaking in January, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he doesn’t want any patient in Ireland to “face the indignity and the risk to their health that comes with prolonged trolley waits”.

The Taoiseach said the case for extra beds in our hospitals is “indisputable”.

“Even if there was no overcrowding in our hospitals we would say we still need more bed capacity and that’s down to the fact that we have a growing population, an ageing population.”

Read: ‘It should be nipped in the bud’: UK hospitals ‘aggressively recruiting’ Irish nurses

More: ‘It’s a wake-up call’: 73 children on trolleys in emergency depts so far this year

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