Leading GP questions HSE assertions that flu levels may peak in coming days

Numbers of patients on hospital trolleys eases back to 473, say nurses

The level of overcrowding in hospitals across the country has eased with 473 people on trolleys. Photograph: iStock

The level of overcrowding in hospitals across the country has eased with 473 people on trolleys. Photograph: iStock

 

A former president of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has questioned suggestions by the HSE that flu cases are likely to peak in the coming days.

North Dublin GP Ray Walley said the evidence in the UK was the flu would reach peak levels within a month.

Dr Walley said the number of people being seen at his practice with flu was increasing and he was starting to see children presenting with flu. He said children had returned to school in recent days and could pass flu on to relatives.

He warned that HSE suggestions that flu cases would soon reach their peak could dissuade some people who had delayed receiving the flu vaccine from getting it. Dr Walley also called for a renewed emphasis on healthcare staff receiving the flu vaccine.

The HSE has said most healthcare workers had not received it.

The spread of flu is considered to be one of the main contributory factors to the current hospital overcrowding crisis.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said the number of people waiting for admission to hospitals on trolleys or on wards was 473 on Friday – down from 544 on Thursday.

It said there were 48 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick, 34 at Cork University Hospital and 27 waiting at Tallaght Hospital.