Sinn Féin TD Mairéad Farrell has called on the Government to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to hospital overcrowding following the publication of the INMO’s trolley watch analysis for March.
Deputy Farrell is concerned about the ‘worryingly high’ numbers of people that were left without a bed at Galway University Hospital.
“I am very concerned by the high number of people waiting on trolleys at Galway University Hospital,” Deputy Farrell said. “New figures show 947 people were without a bed this March at the hospital. This compares to 722 in 2019, which was already worryingly high and unacceptable.
“The Government must take a zero-tolerance approach to hospital overcrowding to ensure that people in Galway and across the west can get the high quality and timely healthcare they need.
“The Minister must take charge of the situation, root out wasteful or poor management practices, and make sure that hospitals are able to adopt better patient management practices.“This is not a new issue – patients have been suffering the torturous consequences of overcrowding for years.”
Joining up community and hospital healthcare is critical according to Deputy Farrell.
“The root causes of emergency department dysfunction are poor patient flow, low hospital capacity, delayed discharges, poor out-of-hours GP coverage and a lack of alternatives in the community,” she adds.
“There is, without question, a need for more beds and more capacity in diagnostics and surgical theatres, but that is not all.
“There are efficiency reforms that have worked in some hospitals to reduce overcrowding and reduce delays in discharging patients, such as specialist medical wards.
“Above all else, we need to join up community and hospital healthcare. Too often, hospitals are left trying to discharge a patient, but there is no recovery bed available for them. Regional Health Areas will help to streamline this process.
“The long festering problems in primary care and general practice, which are a direct result of not training enough doctors and allied health professionals, need to be dealt with.
“Patients at GUH deserve better and the Government must do everything possible to address this crisis urgently.”