Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the ongoing crisis in patients stuck on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda as “symptomatic of all that is wrong with the government’s health policies.”
The Louth TD described last week’s INMO report on trolley figures for May as “deeply disturbing”. He said: “The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in its latest analysis of trolley figures revealed that May was the worst month on record for patients on trolleys. There were 7,713 patients on a trolley for an in-patient bed – up 31% on last year.
These figures are almost double – up 83% – on what they were in May 2006.
And predictably Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda had the second highest number of patients on trolleys of all hospitals in the state. 718 patients were impacted in Our Lady of Lourdes.”
Gerry Adams TD said:
“Last October the government provided an additional €635 million to the HSE.
This was less than half of the €1.4 billion that it had asked for. Several months ago the government provided an additional €74 million to deal with the crisis in the Emergency Departments by attempting to provide additional places in the Fair Deal system for medically discharged patients who are stuck in hospital beds.
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. On Wednesday June 17th OLOL had the worst trolley figures in the state – 36 patients on trolleys.
In recent weeks the media have highlighted two specific cases of citizens born before the 1916 Rising who have endured many hours on trolleys.
Dr James Gray, a consultant in emergency medicine at Tallaght Hospital described as ‘horrendous’ and as a ‘form of torture and a human rights abuse’ the conditions under which a 101-year-old woman was kept.
The Irish Association of Emergency Medicine said patients who have to remain on hospital trolleys for extended periods of time, have suffered an infringement of their human rights and have been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.
Clearly government policy needs to change. Urgent action is needed. It should include:
- Immediate steps to recruit the required additional staff.
- 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.”