Deputy David Cullinane (SF) has expressed his concern about October’s Trolley Watch figures.
THE October ‘Trolley Watch’ figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) over the weekend have been described as ‘deeply disturbing’ by Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson and Waterford TD, David Cullinane.
“The (INMO) figures show that 10,679 patients have been without a bed this October making it the second worst October for ED overcrowding on record,” he said.
“On one day last week we had 669 patients on trollies, the highest recorded in the month of October. The average wait time to admission in emergency departments across the State was 12.7 hours and more than 14 hours for those over 75.”
Deputy Cullinane described Health Minister Stephen Donnelly (FF) as “fumbling from one failed plan to another and is failing to understand the causes and solutions to hospital overcrowding”.
He continued: “Clearly many hospitals do not have the bed capacity needed or the appropriate number of consultants and nurses and other allied health care professionals. The lack of out of hours pharmacy and GP services is driving more people to emergency departments as is the lack of home care support and community care.
“The Minister failed to properly equip our public hospitals for the winter ahead as well as failing to address the deficits in primary and community care. The lack of step down and recovery beds is resulting in delayed discharges from hospitals and is in turn delaying admission from EDs to a hospital bed.”
Deputy Cullinane referred to a new work force planning strategy he has proposed, which aims to “increase training places, address recruitment and retention issues and deliver safe staffing across all health care settings.
“We need more acute beds, community beds, more staff, more hospital theatre and diagnostic capacity as well as a root and branch reform of primary care.”
He concluded: “However what we are witnessing in our hospitals now is a real emergency and will worsen over the coming weeks and months. All options must be on the table including leveraging private health care capacity. We cannot leave those on the front line and patients in the lurch as the crisis in our hospitals deepens.”