Number of patients on trolleys at record high

The number of patients on trolleys at Mayo General Hospital has increased since yesterday as hospitals across the country are trying to deal with the record high number of patients waiting for beds.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, in its daily 'trolley watch', counted 36 patients on trolleys today in the emergency department and in wards awaiting admission at Mayo General Hospital.

Nationally, there are 601 patients on trolleys and in wards awaiting admission – a record high, according to the INMO.

In a statement today, the HSE apologised to patients and their families for any distress caused by the delays experienced in emergency departments.

It said all hospitals are following escalation plans which include opening additional overflow areas, curtailing non-emergency surgery, providing additional diagnostics and strengthening discharge planning. 

It said amongst the key factors contributing to the increase in pressure within emergency deparments is the “older age profile of patients presenting and the complexity of issues they have. As a result, hospitals are experiencing delays in discharging these patients home or to other appropriate settings.”

The HSE said the pressure on emergency departments is also likely to continue in the weeks ahead as the seasonal surge in demand continues.

The HSE also encouraged patients to contact their GPs in the first instance where they can be directed appropriately to services such as rapid access clinics, day hospital services for older people and acute medical assessment units, as appropriate.

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