Number of patients on trolleys doubles

HSE says ‘seasonal flux’ to blame

“Hospitals are reporting increased admission rates with higher acuity of presentations noted, particularly the frail elderly,” said the HSE

“Hospitals are reporting increased admission rates with higher acuity of presentations noted, particularly the frail elderly,” said the HSE

Wed, Jan 8, 2014, 22:30

The number of patients on trolleys across the hospital system has almost doubled in a week, according to

the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

There were 467 people on trolleys yesterday, compared with 245 last Thursday and 205 on December 30th, according to the organisation’s daily “trolley and ward watch”.

The HSE said the increasing pressure on hospitals was due to “the seasonal flux in hospital activity that traditionally takes place after Christmas/new year.

“Hospitals are reporting increased admission rates with higher acuity of presentations noted, particularly the frail elderly,” said the HSE. The highest number of people on trolleys yesterday was in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where there were 43 in the emergency department and six in wards.

There were 32 on trolleys in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown; 25 in St Vincent’s University Hospital; 21 in Tallaght; 11 in the Mater; and three in St James’s, Hospital, all in Dublin.

Outside Dublin, the highest numbers were 37 on trolleys in University Hospital, Galway; 33 in the Midland Regional, Tullamore; 30 in the Mercy Hospital, Cork, and, 29 in Midland Regional, Mullingar.

The HSE spokeswoman said: “Hospitals are working with the [Department of Health’s special delivery unit] to ensure they balance the demand for scheduled and unscheduled care, to maximise discharge planning, and take additional measures to relieve pressures as required. As a result of these actions, there has been a 10 per cent reduction in the number of people waiting on trolleys at 2pm today.”