Overcrowding: Seven reasons for record trolley numbers

A shortage of beds, understaffing and lack of urgency at the top is contributing to the crisis

Recent reports have shown Ireland is making big strides in healthcare, but access remains the bugbear of the system.

Recent reports have shown Ireland is making big strides in healthcare, but access remains the bugbear of the system.

Seven reasons hospital trolleys have hit record levels today:

 

1) Beds, beds, beds

Most analysts believe the hospital system is chronically deficient in beds. Successive Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reports show that Ireland has one of the lowest ratios of hospital beds to population internationally. The 2017 Sláintecare report estimated the system needed between 2,500 and 9,000 extra beds over the next decade, depending on what changes are introduced.

2) Blocked beds

Sick patients requiring admission to hospital end up in holding mode on trolleys because well patients continue to occupy beds in the main section of their hospital. Many of these patients require step-down care, a place in a nursing home or adaptations or care arrangements at home before they can leave.

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