A way to alleviate the winter trolley crisis

Sir, – The trolley crisis in our acute hospitals is like Groundhog season that starts every year in October and goes on until April, despite the winter planning initiatives by successive governments.

I am an ex-nurse and volunteer in a non-acute public voluntary hospital that gets virtually all its patient referrals from the large acute hospital in the same catchment area. Indeed, this acute hospital provides medical cover for both hospitals. Currently in the non-acute hospital there is one ward closed and at least another 15 vacant beds.

These beds are closed in order to save money as the hospital has over spent on its 2019 budget allocation. The pressure on beds at the acute hospital could be greatly eased if these beds were freed up, but fiscal rectitude at the step-down facility prevents this.

This type of relationship between acute and non-acute hospitals in the public sector is replicated around the country.


Might I suggest if acute and non-acute public hospitals in the same catchment area had a common budget allocation they could work more efficiently together to better serve their patients, without the indignity of prolonged waits on uncomfortable trolleys, particularly for elderly patients. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.