A SURGE in the number of ill people forced to wait on trolleys has increased dramatically at St Luke’s Hospital.
On Monday there were 18 people waiting on trolleys and 16 people on trolleys yesterday. The high number is being attributed to a seasonal illness among the elderly population.
The figures compiled by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show an extraordinarily high number of people on trolleys in recent days.
Management at the hospital have assured patients and their families that hospital staff are making every effort to accommodate patients as quickly as possible. The hospital has also apologised to patients and their families in the case of any inconvenience caused when a delay in being transferred from the Emergency Department to a hospital bed is experienced.
On average 85 people present at the Emergency Department every day, 28 of whom, on average, are admitted.
Hospital management is treating this matter as a priority and is working closely with the Special Delivery Unit (SDU) in keeping the situation under constant review.
According to the IMNO figures there was no one at trolleys in the hospital in the three days leading up to this. Prior to that there were five people on trollies on Thursday, 11 people on trollies on Wednesday and three people on trollies last Tuesday.
A HSE spokesman said that the staff at St Luke’s are making every effort to accommodate patients as quickly as possible and that the situation was expected to improve within hours.
The HSE have also said that patient care is paramount at the hsopital and the current situation is being treated as a priority. The hospital has undertaken several actions to help reduce the pressure, including opening additional beds and the day ward at night to create additional beds, proactive discharge planning, reducing length of stay through timely discharge, additional ward rounds being undertaken by clinicians and reducing all elective work (deferring of non-urgent day inpatient procedures).