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Government fails to tackle trolley waits - Adams

6 July, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has said that the “government’s strategy for tackling trolley waiting numbers is failing patients and putting enormous stress on staff. Last Friday Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda had the highest waiting numbers in the state with 46 patients on trolleys. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in its monthly report assessing trolley waits, ranks OLOL second only behind Beaumont hospital for the worst trolley numbers for the 12 months between June 2014 and June 2015.”

Teachta Adams said:

“There is a consistent pattern which emerges clearly in the INMO’s figures. In June 7,775 citizens waited on trolleys. This is the highest ever number of trolley waits in the last 12 years and a 51% increase over last year.

Despite claims by the government that it is tackling this issue and investing more money in health care June 2015 was the 12th month in a row which saw an increase in the level of overcrowding. At 728 the figures for patients on trolley between June 2014-15 in OLOL was up 42% on the previous year.

Last October the government provided an additional €635 million to the HSE. This was less than half of what it had asked for. Minister Varadkar is now talking about the HSE needing an additional one billion.

Despite the hard work of staff, Our Lady of Lourdes continues to have numbers in the Emergency department that are close to those normally seen in winter time.

Clearly the statistics released by the INMO confirm that the strategy adopted by the Minister for Health is not working. More investment is needed. I support the INMO view that ‘what is now required is emergency, sustained additional, funding for our health service’.

Urgent action is needed. It should include:

  • Immediate steps to recruit the required additional staff.

  • the re-opening of long stay and continuing care beds.

  • Additional resources to expand the role of the nurse in the acute care and in enhanced community services.

  • More acute beds and step down facilities must be established.”

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