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Patients being left on trolleys can never be normalised - Louise O'Reilly TD

8 November, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the increase in the number of patients on trolleys for the month of October, as highlighted today by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), is yet again shocking and said that while these increases are happening month on month that they can never be normalised.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“There have been record levels of people left on trolleys for the first 10 months of 2017 and as we progress deeper into the winter this problem will become more acute.

“It is hugely concerning that to date in 2017 there have been 82,459 people who were left on trolleys throughout the state. Such numbers are a serious cause for concern especially as we move into the flu season when the health service is put under enormous pressure.

“Throughout the month of October there were 8,903 patients, admitted for care, for whom there was no in-patient bed. These numbers represent a full 15% increase when compared to October 2016.

“It is now highly possible that 2017 will see the first year where there will have been over 100,000 people left on trolleys in hospitals throughout the State.

Today’s figures released by the INMO also show how there has been an 8% increase in the number of patients on trolleys compared to the first 10 months of 2016.

“To contextualise the severity of the trolley crisis that now grips the health service every single day of the year we need to compare it to what has gone before. The situation in 2017 is a 96% increase in the number of people who were on trolleys compared to the first 10 months of 2007.

“If Minister Harris is serious about addressing the issues which create this crisis then he needs to tackle four main areas, recruitment and retention of staff, reopening closed beds, adequate step down facilities, and proper primary and community care.

“This will not only reduce the numbers of patients on trolleys in our hospitals, but it will also ensure that those who are in our hospitals will get the care they need and it will also give respite to the excellent staff we have working in our health service so they can provide the best possible care they can give."

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