TUH activates full capacity protocol due to high A&E attendances
There are lengthy delays at Tallaght University Hospital's A&E department (Image: TUH)

TUH activates full capacity protocol due to high A&E attendances

TALLAGHT University Hospital is experiencing a high number of attendances in its Emergency Department and has activated its full capacity protocol.

In a statement released today, the hospital said that high attendances and a high rate of admission is putting pressure on the Emergency Department (ED) – and also the hospital, due to a shortage of beds.

A hospital spokesperson added that discharging patients also continues to be a challenge, with a high number of patients waiting home care packages or a place in a nursing home.

The spokesperson said: “The hospital works continuously to free beds for admitted patients, but there is a clear underlying requirement to develop additional onsite bed capacity given our growing and ageing population.

“Following completion of an external strategic analysis review which was submitted to the HSE, we are waiting for sign off on this to move to the next stage in the process to develop a new 72 single bed facility at the hospital to address these additional capacity requirements.”

The need for additional bed capacity at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) has been continuously flagged by hospital management and local campaign and patient groups for well over a decade.

This is not a new issue and while the pandemic has added additional pressure and challenges, bed capacity at Tallaght has been an ongoing concern.

The Echo contacted the HSE in July of this year for an update on the analysis review submitted by the local hospital for a 72-bed, single room, adult in-patient building on an available site on campus.

However, no clarification was received.

As the local hospital tries to care for those who present at ED, it has encouraged people with non-urgent conditions to seek alternative care.

“We are committed to treating everyone who presents to our ED however we do so strictly in order of medical priority”, the hospital said.

“Given the volume of patients currently attending the Emergency Department, we regret there are lengthy delays and long wait times for those who do not need urgent treatment.

“We are asking the public to consider alternative care options before attending the ED as unfortunately people with less urgent complaints will experience long wait times.

“The hospital regrets any delay a patient of any age experiences whilst waiting in our Emergency Department, patients are prioritised according to clinical need.

“We thank the public for their cooperation in this regard.”

Planned activity at the hospital will now go under review, as part of its full capacity protocol, which may result in scheduled care being curtailed.

Follow TUH on Facebook and TUH.ie for updates.