The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has carried out its analyses of its Trolley/Ward Watch figures ahead of its 3 day Annual Delegate Conference which commences in the Clayton White’s Hotel, Wexford later today.
There were two sets of figures analysed (see attached) as follows:
1. January – April 2017 compared to the previous years.
36,043 patients waited on trolleys for an in-patient bed in the first 4 months of 2017. This was the highest figure recorded, for this 4 month period, since records began and a 1% increase on 2016 figures.
2. April 2017 compared to previous years
7,199 patients spent time on trolleys awaiting an in-patient bed in April 2017. This figure represents a 12% decrease for the month of April compared with April 2016.
It should also be noted that year to date (4 month) figures continue to show a significant drop in overcrowding, in hospitals in Dublin, while hospitals, outside of Dublin, continue to endure very significant increases in the level of overcrowding. The monthly April figure shows a drop in both Dublin and country hospitals.
While the level of overcrowding has increased, over the 4 month period, it must be noted that the level of this increase is slowing down. The April figure shows a 12% drop on the previous year. While this is a welcome improvement many hospitals are struggling with huge numbers of patients awaiting in-patient beds.
The most overcrowded hospitals for the month of April, in terms of highest figures, were:
• Cork University Hospital – 658
• University Hospital, Limerick – 649
• Sth Tipperary General Hospital – 493
• Mater Hospital, Dublin – 437
• University Hospital, Galway – 410
The on-going overcrowding in hospitals nationwide will be discussed at the INMO’s 98th Conference in Wexford where the following two motions will be debated:
• “Conference noting that core rights, and values, such as privacy and dignity are continuously violated, and infringed upon, in Emergency Departments, calls on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to commence an inquiry into the circumstances in which care is delivered, in Emergency Departments in Ireland, similar to inquiries of this nature which have been carried out in other jurisdictions.”
• “Conference resolves that management provide access to a social worker, physiotherapist and occupational therapist, in all 26 Emergency Departments, so as to enhance patient care, facilitate earlier discharge and assist access to appropriate services in an appropriate, and timely, manner.”
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 shortage of beds in acute hospitals and step down facilities remains a real problem in this on-going crisis.
Additional services, either in terms of acute beds, step-down beds and/or community intervention teams are dependent on there being additional nursing staff. It remains the stark reality that without nurses and midwives we cannot meet current demand let alone in the future.
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”.
These figures are released ahead of a meeting of the ED Taskforce scheduled to take place on next Monday, May 8th.