St Luke’s General Hospital has taken urgent measures in an attempt to alleviate the serious overcrowding crisis which saw 39 patients left waiting for a bed on Monday.
As of yesterday (Tuesday), the Kilkenny hospital saw this number reduced to nine patients, while the overall national figure of 601 is a record high. On Monday, St Luke’s had the third-highest count in the country, with the trolley count at 27 people and 12 waiting on wards.
The hospital put in place an action plan to help reduce the pressure on the Emergency Department, with measures including opening additional beds in the ‘day ward’ at night, reducing the length of patients’ stay, and putting in place additional ward rounds. A number of non-emergency and day procedures were postponed or rescheduled to help staff cope with the workload. The management at the hospital has apologised for any inconvenience caused.
Members of the public are being asked to only turn up in the case of emergencies, and are advised, where possible, to consult a GP or Caredoc first. The HSE says there has been sustained pressure on the ED at St Luke’s in recent days, mainly due to seasonal illness among the elderly.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has warned of a national emergency, and says overcrowding is compromising patient safety.