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Sinn Féin publishes policies on tackling the trolley crisis - Louise O'Reilly TD

15 November, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has today published Sinn Féin’s position on tackling the trolley crisis and highlighted the need for four key areas need to be tackled in order to address the record levels of overcrowding in Emergency Departments.

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 were left on trolleys throughout the State. Such numbers are a serious cause for concern, as we move into the flu season when the health service is put under enormous pressure.

“The crisis in our Emergency Departments has been increasing year on year and month on month. If something is not done 2017 could be the first year where the number of patients on trolleys breaks the 100,000 mark.

“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.

“Each of these issues are interlinked and if unaddressed they will continue to contribute to the trolley crisis and possibly lead to the complete collapse of the health service this winter.

“This policy document identifies what can be done immediately to address the trolley crisis within existing resources, without moving into the sphere of new capital infrastructure.

"It outlines how tackling the four key areas would increase capacity, reduce numbers in acute care and, reduce numbers presenting at A&E, thus, reducing the numbers and pressure on Emergency Departments.

“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.

“I am open to helping Minister Harris to resolve this crisis; this is not about party politics. If the Minister seeks workable solutions from the opposition I am more than willing to help him."

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