Irish Hospitals see highest number on trolleys for a decade in November 2016

Trolley watch survey in Irish hospitals Indicating, November 2016 was a Black November for the highest number of people on hospital trolleys in last 10 years. Though the Overall number on trolleys across 2016 fell by 1%, November saw a staggering 26% rise as Irish hospitals nationwide felt the strain of hospital infections, overcrowding, midwife & nurse shortages.


Trolley figures for year to date from 2006-2016

Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation General Secretary, Liam Doran, said:

These figures are hugely disappointing, if not surprising, and confirm yet again, our health service cannot cope with the demands being placed upon it.

The figures for November are particularly alarming as we enter the peak winter period with the inevitable increased demand that takes place every year over the next three to four months.

The loss of beds, due to hospital acquired infection, is also alarming and must be examined in the context of the constant ward level overcrowding, arising from extra beds on wards, which is now a daily reality in many hospitals.

“The winter initiative, with its €40m ear-marked funding, is obviously necessary but further measures, with resources, are needed arising from this latest trolley watch analysis.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) latest trolley watch survey, shows in the first 11 months 85,731 patients had been admitted for in-patient care but were left on trolleys as no beds were available.

But in spite of the good news a Black November saw the figures skyrocket as overcrowding gripped the health system once again.

Last month 9,306 admitted patients were on trolleys. The level of overcrowding was 26 per cent greater than in November 2015 and 99 per cent higher than a decade earlier in November 2006.


Figures for number of people on trolleys in November, from 2006-2016

Dublin hospitals fared well in the survey, with the patients on trolleys in Connolly Hospital down 48%, St James’s down 33% and Beaumont down 26% for the year to date. Some regional hospitals fared worse, with patient trolley numbers up 162% in South Tipperary General Hospital and MRH Tullamore up 75% this year.

A INMO Spokesman said

Direct consequence of the daily overcrowding taking place in wards in many hospitals across the service.

Ward overcrowding inevitably compromises best practice, with regard to infection control, and, ultimately, results in bed closures to control the spread of infection.

The group also attributed a crisis in nurse recruitment which sees many Emergency Departments and in-patient wards “grossly understaffed.”

In Mercy University Hospital, Cork, this number went from 141 in November last year, to 424 this year.


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