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A&E overflows as trolley queue grows at Tallaght Hospital

14 February, 2006


Tallaght based Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has called on the Tánaiste and Minister for Health Mary Harney to visit Tallaght Hospital’s A&E department and explain to staff, patients and residents of Tallaght and its hinterland why there are nearly three times more patients on trolleys there than any other hospital in the state. His call comes after the Irish Nurses Organisation revealed that 75 patients are on trolleys at Tallaght Hospital and the day ward has had to close to cater for the over-spill from the A&E. Deputy Cowe said that a number of patients have been on trolleys for over eight days.

Deputy Crowe said, “The crisis at Tallaght A&E seems to be limping on and on. The patients, staff and residents of Tallaght and its hinterland are fed up with excuses and promises and are simply demanding that the problem be solved. Minister Harney can no longer get away with the excuse that she is new to the job. The situation has got significantly worse since she took over more than a year ago now.

“What is required is a capital investment programme to provide more beds to deal with the increasing number of patients and to recruit additional nurses to reduce the pressure on the existing staff. Rather than talking about the proposed medical assessment unit the Minister needs to act on the plans to deal with the bottle-neck in the A&E that is now overflowing into other sections of the hospital.

“Tallaght hospital is ideally situated for an extension with acres of land available on site to be built on. And money should not be a problem with an unexpected extra in tax of €2.5 billion in the Government coffers this year. So the land is there and the money is there; all that is lacking is the political will.

“Mary Harney has had absolutely no positive impact on the crisis in our hospitals and has failed as a Minister for Health. She needs to come to Tallaght to see for herself the extent of the problem and she should explain to the staff, patients and residents of Tallaght and its hinterland why there are nearly three times more patients on trolleys in Tallaght than any other hospital in the state. Today’s news comes less than a month after I highlighted the situation were a friend of mine spent eight days on a trolleys in a serious condition. It is an indictment on the Minister that we are in this appalling situation four years after the INO first highlighted this problem.” ENDS

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