Cork TD: 'Mallow expansion can help ease overcrowding'

Labour TD Seán Sherlock also called for the fast-tracking of the building works at the hospital to bring beds into the system.
Cork TD: 'Mallow expansion can help ease overcrowding'

It comes as 79 patients were waiting on trolleys for a hospital bed in Cork on Wednesday, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) TrolleyWatch figures. Mallow General Hospital. Picture Dan Linehan

A Cork TD has called for an expansion of a paramedic treatment pilot scheme at Mallow General Hospital to help relieve the pressure on Cork hospitals experiencing significant overcrowding.

Labour TD Seán Sherlock also called for the fast-tracking of the building works at the hospital to bring beds into the system.

It comes as 79 patients were waiting on trolleys for a hospital bed in Cork on Wednesday, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) TrolleyWatch figures.

Cork University Hospital (CUH) recorded the highest number of patients waiting on trolleys in the ED across the country on Wednesday.

There were 55 patients waiting on trolleys in the hospital’s ED on Wednesday morning, while a further two patients were recorded on trolleys on wards elsewhere in the hospital.

At the Mercy University Hospital (MUH), there were 17 patients awaiting a hospital bed in the ED.

 Sean Sherlock Pic Gareth Chaney /Collins Photos
 Sean Sherlock Pic Gareth Chaney /Collins Photos

At Bantry General Hospital (BGH) there were a further five patients waiting on trolleys in wards elsewhere in the hospital.

Deputy Sherlock said that Level 2 hospitals such as those in Mallow and Ennis have “tremendous capacity” to deal with a greater volume of acute medical interventions.

“The way to keep trolley numbers down and manageable is by opening up more beds in these hospitals and rotating more medical consultants out from CUH to deal with winter-related illnesses.

“This could be done on a seasonal basis. The over-dependence on tertiary hospitals like CUH to deal with everything is proving futile when Level 2 hospitals could and should be triaging more patients.

“They must become the first port of call for ambulatory care. Protocols can be further developed to provide for inter-hospital transfers on a needs-be basis.

Deputy Sherlock also called for the expansion of a pilot project which began in September of last year testing whether ambulance patients could be treated in a Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) instead of an ED.

“The pilot scheme where paramedics are able to make a decision to bring patients back to Mallow General when they have been patients there already needs to be expanded to deal with the current overcrowding experienced in Cork city-based hospitals,” he said.

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