THERE have been fresh calls for more beds to be made available in Cork University Hospital (CUH) after a 90-year-old man with diabetes was left on a trolley overnight earlier this week.
The family of Bartholomew Murphy, from Ballincollig, described the scenes in the emergency department (ED) of CUH as absolute chaos.
The elderly man went to the hospital at around 8.30pm on Tuesday and was eventually put on a trolley around 11.30pm.
It was almost 6pm yesterday before a bed was available, to the huge frustration of his family.
His daughter Bernadette Walsh said it was clear to the family that the nurses and doctors were not at fault, but rather it is the system the family feels is failing the public.
“There is a solution to this problem and that is to open up the wards and to use the beds that are available,” she said.
Bernadette said that she felt it was time that the public started a campaign to support the doctors and nurses and bring about change in the health service.
She herself made calls to public representatives yesterday afternoon, when there was still no sign of a bed for her father.
“I think that the public health staff need the support of the people to put pressure on the Government to implement strategies that will work better in the health service,” said Bernadette.
Mr Murphy was referred to CUH by his GP because of his blood sugar levels.
He spent the night on the trolley, with his son William Murphy by his side until 2.30am.
“My dad was disorientated and kept asking where his bed was,” said William. “He just wanted to go to sleep, he was wrecked.”
William said there were trolleys on both sides of the corridor and he was constantly in the way of doctors and nurses who were trying to get past.
“The staff were trying to move around you. There was no privacy and it was so busy.”
William had to leave his father in the early hours as he had work in the morning and had to get home, but he said that he was very worried after he left.
“What if he fell? What would have happened him then?” asked William.
A spokesperson for South South West Hospital Group said: “Due to patient confidentiality, Cork University Hospital does not comment on individual cases. However, it is important to note that all patient care and patients’ medical condition are carefully monitored whilst in the ED.”