Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has carried out analyses of its Trolley/Ward Watch figures ahead of its 3 day Annual Delegate Conference which commences in the INEC, Killarney, Co Kerry later today.
There were two sets of figures analysed (see attached) as follows:
1. April 2016 compared with April figures going back to 2006.
8,145 patients spent time on trolleys awaiting an in-patient bed in April 2016. This was the second highest figure for the month of April since records began and up 4% on April 2015
2. January – April 2016 compared to the previous years.
35,756 patients waited for an in-patient bed for the first 4 months of 2016. This was the highest figure recorded for this 4 month period since records began and a 2% increase on 2015 figures
The figures again confirm record levels of overcrowding in the first four months of this year compared to previous years. While the April figures would confirm that the on-going increase, is slowing, they still confirm a shocking picture of overcrowding, on a daily basis, in almost all of our Emergency Departments.
It must be noted that this level of overcrowding has continued throughout the last 60 days since the General Election. Despite this fact it would appear that very little focus has been given to the challenges faced by the health service as compared to the solely political priorities that have taken centre stage in recent days.
These latest figures also confirm, if it were needed, that this problem cannot be solved without a significant increase in our bed capacity, acute and long-term. This additional capacity can only be supplied when we have a political consensus on what is required rather than the blame game, while patients and staff suffer, that currently passes for debate upon this country’s public health service.
The issue of Emergency Department overcrowding will be debated during this week’s Annual Delegate Conference. This debate will take place as the INMO remains fully committed to working the agreement, reached at the WRC, in January, which calls for a system wide response to this overcrowding crisis. It is a fact that some areas of the health service continue to ignore this overcrowding crisis and continue to act in a single minded fashion rather than the collective, coherent and 24/7 response which is required.
Against this background this week’s conference will debate motions on a number of related areas including:
- A call on the new government to adequately resource all aspects of the health service;
- A call for the establishment of a National Economics Forum to agree a long term funding model for a world class public health service;
- The Organisation’s opposition to the use of the Full Capacity Protocol;
- The need for adequate community supports for early discharge of patients; and,
- The HSE to be held accountable for unsafe working environments.
Speaking on this issue INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran said:
“These latest statistics confirm that our health services continue to be too small to adequately, and safely, meet the demands being placed upon it.
The recent ED Agreement is not a substitute for the additional 1,500 acute beds, required across the country, and the 2,000 long term/traditional care beds required to deal with demand and our aging population.
We will continue to work the current agreement, with all parties, demanding the additional staffing stipulated, the presence of senior clinical decision makers at all times, including weekends, and greater resources, for the social and primary care areas, to allow for admission avoidance and prompt discharge.
The INMO will continue, in the interests of our members and the patients they care for, to lead the campaign for additional beds, staff and services right across the healthcare system”.