St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny asks people to attend GPs as trolley crisis escalates

There are 47 patients on trolleys and wards today, according to INMO figures

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

Large number on trolleys in St Luke's Hospital

As part of winter planning, funding has been made available for an additional 14 ‘escalation’ beds

St Luke’s General Hospital has asked people to attend their GP or CareDoc in the first instance where possible, as the Kilkenny hospital endures its worst overcrowding of the year so far, according to data from Trolleywatch.

INMO figures for the local hospital show 47 patients waiting on trolleys and wards today, up from 37 on yesterday. Overcrowding has been a significant issue at various points this year.

Following an enquiry from the Kilkenny People, a statement from the Ireland East Hospital Group confirmed that Surgical wards 1 and 2 are both fully open at present. As part of winter planning, funding has been made available for an additional 14 ‘escalation’ beds, and a recruitment drive is under way in order to provide staff for these additional beds.

“St Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny is currently experiencing high demand on its ED with several people presenting with a variety of complex needs. Staff and Management at St Luke’s, with the support of the Ireland East Hospital Group, are continuing to work within their escalation protocol to prioritise the discharge of patients where appropriate as soon as possible," says the statement.

"The hospital would ask that, where possible, patients visit their GPs or CareDoc in the first instance. Patients with less complex needs attending the ED may experience longer waiting times.”

This year has been the worst year so far for overcrowding at St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny since INMO data collection began, with record numbers left without a bed in 2017. Between January and July, a total of 2,456 patients were waiting on trolleys and wards - an increase of 497 people on the number for the same period last year.