The Louth TD’s remarks follow the revelation by the INMO that an elderly patient has been on a trolley for five days and that several others are on their fourth day waiting for a bed.
Gerry Adams said: “This news will surprise no one. OLOL in Drogheda, despite the best efforts of staff and management, does not have the resources needed to cope with the health demands placed on it. Today there were 48 patients on trolleys – the highest number in the state.
There needs to be urgent review of government policy and funding for the Health Service to end the scandal of patients stuck on trolleys in Emergency Departments.”
The Louth TD said:
“In its monthly comparative survey the INMO last week found that Our Lady of Lourdes – at 680 – had the highest levels of overcrowding of any hospital in the state. At the same time there were 6518 admitted patients on trolleys – a 40% increase over the same period last year. This has been the consistent month on month pattern for the last 14 months; with July witnessing the highest ever level of overcrowding recorded.
The crisis in our emergency departments demands an emergency holistic response by government and the necessary resources, including funding and staff to ensure that patient care is not sacrificed to austerity.
This is deeply disturbing and is evidence of the abject failure of government policy in respect of the health service and the care of patients. New measures introduced by the Minister for Health are inadequate and the €74 million additional funding provided several months ago has failed to achieve any significant improvement in Emergency Department trolley numbers.
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.”