File picture: 23 patients on trolleys in Kilkenny today
A rise in the number of people attending the Emergency Department, a busy holiday period, and ‘unseasonal weather’ is responsible for a surge in overcrowding at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny.
There are 23 patients waiting on a bed today - down two from yesterday - according to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). On two days early last week, there were 40 patients waiting on a bed. The figure dipped toward the end of the week, but was back up to 36 this Monday.
The Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) offered a number of reasons for the spike, including ‘unseasonal weather’ which was not as big a factor last year.
“St Luke’s General Hospital for Carlow/Kilkenny regrets any delays experienced by our patients. Attendances to our emergency department have been quite high in recent weeks,” said a statement from the IEHG.
“There are a several contributory factors, ranging from the particularly busy holiday period in Kilkenny, to the unseasonal weather and associated respiratory problems, which was not as prevalent in the summer of 2018.
“The hospital also has several frail older patients, who have been admitted with multiple needs which often results in a wait for additional Home Support or Community Services to be made available to them before they can be safely discharged. St Luke’s Hospital is working very closely with the Ireland East Hospital Group, GPs and Community Services in Carlow/Kilkenny and the National Ambulance Services continuously to improve and streamline services to reduce wait times for patients.”