Tallaght Hospital had nearly 500 patients on trolleys in May – an increase of 34% on last year

Tallaght Hospital had nearly 500 patients on trolleys in May – an increase of 34% on last year

By Aura McMenamin

Tallaght Hospital had one of the highest numbers of patients on trolleys last month, according to the latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

The INMO found a record level of overcrowding in hospitals in May with 8,154 people on trolleys awaiting beds.

Tallaght hospital cropped to size

Tallaght Hospital had 476 people waiting for beds in May, which was an increase of 34 per cent from last year.

The hospital had the second highest level of overcrowding in Dublin with the Mater Hospital having 533 patients lying on trolleys last month.

The national level of patients on trolleys or waiting in wards rose 23 per cent from last year.

Liam Doran, General Secretary of the INMO expressed his disappointment in the rise of patients on trolleys, saying: “This record level of overcrowding, showing a 23% increase when compared to 2016, is very disappointing coming at this time of year and after a marginal improvement in April. “

INMO figures from April showed a 12 per cent decrease nationally of patients waiting for in-patient beds from the previous year.

However, Tallaght Hospital did not feel this ease as the number of patients during this period rose from 1,665 to 1,741.

Doran attributed the closure of beds in hospitals throughout the country to low staffing levels. He said: “Due to nursing staff shortages, we now have both acute, and long-term, beds closed, in many areas, ranging from Donegal to Waterford.

He called for more incentives to be introduced when recruiting for nurses, otherwise the problem of overcrowding would continue.

“The figures reaffirm the extent of the crisis, arising from the recruitment/retention difficulties, in nursing, which must be addressed, through pay related initiatives, as an absolute priority,” he said.

“Until the shortage of nurses, is addressed, both beds and services will remain curtailed and trolley numbers will continue to grow.”

According to the latest INMO Trolleywatch figures released this morning, there are currently 21 patients on trolleys in Tallaght Hospital.