CUH records highest number of people on trolleys in ED

CUH records highest number of people on trolleys in ED

As of 8am on Wednesday, there were a total of 57 people waiting in the hospital’s ED for a bed.

Cork University Hospital (CUH) had the highest number of people waiting on trolleys in an Emergency Department (ED) across the country on Wednesday.

As of 8am on Wednesday, there were a total of 57 people waiting in the hospital’s ED for a bed. 

University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has the second-highest number of patients on trolleys in ED, with 54 waiting for a bed.

At the Mercy University Hospital (MUH), there were 16 people waiting on trolleys and at Bantry General Hospital (BGH) there were six waiting for a bed in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

It comes as Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly met with senior officials from his own department and from the HSE to discuss immediate responses to the pressures currently being faced by the 29 Emergency Departments across the country.

Discussions on Wednesday included a specific engagement around the ED at University Hospital Limerick in the context of the particular pressures being experienced by that hospital and the recent reports by both HIQA and an HSE Expert Team which were recently deployed to Limerick at the Minister's request.

Meanwhile, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) recently announced that it had no choice but to consult with its members regarding persistent hospital overcrowding.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) recently announced that it had no choice but to consult with its members regarding persistent hospital overcrowding.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) recently announced that it had no choice but to consult with its members regarding persistent hospital overcrowding.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that the response thus far from the HSE and the Health and Safety Authority has been “extremely lacking”.

“The INMO has requested that the Emergency Department Taskforce meets as a matter of urgency three times and the response from the HSE has been inadequate.” Ms Ní Sheaghdha said Emergency Departments “are pressure cooker environments leading to the physical and verbal assault of our members in some instances”.

“The HSE has a duty to provide a safe environment for employees and patients and this just is not being adhered to in the vast majority of hospitals.

Our nurses are at the end of our tether, and they cannot provide the clinical care that is required. They are burnt out both physically and mentally and cannot continue at this pace.

"The slow reaction and at times hands-off approach from their employer will drive many nurses out of the profession.” 

A spokesperson for CUH said that the Emergency Department was “exceptionally busy” on Wednesday.

“Due to this increased level of activity and subsequent admissions, it is regrettable that some patients may experience a delay in the ED.

The increase in attendance is due to the large number of very ill medical patients requiring admission and the increasing numbers of Covid-19 positive inpatients in the hospital.

“Patient care is paramount in CUH and this situation is being treated as a priority by hospital management who have taken steps to address this issue,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday, MUH said it was experiencing high demand for its ED services due to a marked increase in the attendances of acutely ill patients and a surge in Covid-19 presentations.

A spokesperson for the hospital told The Echo that there was “a slight improvement” on Wednesday but still a high level of people presenting with Covid-19.

Management at both hospitals urged members of the public needing less urgent treatment to avail, where possible, of other care services.

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