There is no acceptable level of patients on trolleys

02 May 2023
  • Hospitals are unsafe for workers, patients and visitors

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith said the Government can no longer sit on their laurels when it comes to the trolley crisis.

With 704 patients waiting for beds in Irish hospitals over the May Bank Holiday weekend, Deputy Smith said it is unclear as to why Minister Donnelly is allowing this to become ‘the new normal’.

Deputy Smith said:

“The extraordinary levels of patients waiting on hospital beds over the weekend is outrageous. The peak of the triple threat of respiratory illnesses we had during the winter months has passed. To have 704 patients waiting for beds in May is endemic of a year round trolley crisis, creating a totally unsuitable environment for patients, workers and visitors.

“The INMO will host their national conference this week and there’s no doubt in my mind that we will hear harrowing stories from nurses and midwives on the frontline who feel they cannot provide the care patients needs. Across the full range of people who keep our hospitals going, from porters, to cleaners, to health care assistants, everyone is reporting immense pressure as a result of the trolley crisis.

“All workers deserve to work in a safe environment where they can deliver the excellent care that Irish patients receive. The INMO has kept this on the agenda, yet it continues to fall on deaf ears in the Department of Health.

“Covid changed everything for all hospital workers. These frontline staff attended to those battling illness, going above and beyond the call of duty. Government must come to the table with plans to expand Ireland’s healthcare workforce. We need to see serious change. The time is now. If we have 704 patients waiting on trolleys across the country today, I shudder to think what we are facing into for the winter months.”

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