ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2018

No resource spared to improve hospital overcrowding - Harris

12 January 2018, 09:37 | Erica Roy

Patients advised to avoid Naas Hospital due to high numbers presenting there

Scale Of Local Hospital Overcrowding Largely Unchanged

As a result, the hospital is restricting visitors to one person per patient only and said visiting hours must be strictly adhered to.

The second highest rate of overcrowding this week was at St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, with 191 patients on trolleys, followed by Cork university Hospital with 136 patients.

The Health Minister said yesterday he's committed to opening more beds and reforming the system.

"We are also seeing children who need a hospital bed being held overnight in emergency departments; a new and worrying trend that is not captured in any of the official figures".

The call for a more stringent structure around patient admission and discharge come as the Limerick hospital was revealed as having the highest number of patients - 8,869 - forced to wait on trolleys for a bed previous year.

In his statement this evening, Minister Harris said he wanted to recognise the "intense efforts of all our staff across the health service", while acknowledging the "very hard conditions" patients are experiencing at this time.

He acknowledged that the HSE needs additional capacity and said greater investment in that are is needed. During a visit to Hungary, the Taoiseach expressed regret and frustration at the situation, and over the fact that there has not been an improvement despite increased investment over the last three years.

She said that under HSE policy, the joint chairpersons of the Emergency Department Task Force must be notified in advance of this.

Professor Anthony Staines from DCU says getting patients in and out of hospital smoothly is key.

She said: "This latest trolley crisis is a national disgrace and is intolerable for both patients and staff - but it is also absolutely predictable".

Mr McCallion said there had been a drop in trolley numbers in October, November and December of up to 8%, but there had been a significant increase in recent days of patients who are sick with flu and respiratory illnesses.

Tadhg Daly, the organisation's chief executive, said: "It is essential the capacity of nursing homes within the community is fully realised to facilitate timely discharges from our acute hospitals". In Dr Susan O'Reilly's plan, these two hospitals are supposed to take patients from Portlaoise if it is downgraded.

The Health Service Executive has urged people to get the flu vaccination and said the number of reported cases of flu had increased in the week before Christmas and it "is now actively circulating in Ireland".

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