Wexford General has one of the lowest trolley rates

By Esther Hayden

Wexford Hospital: numbers on trolleys compare well with most other hospitals in the country.
Wexford Hospital: numbers on trolleys compare well with most other hospitals in the country.

A total of 36,043 patients were on hospital trolleys here in the first four months of this year, according to a new report.

However Wexford General Hospital has one of the lowest rates in the country.

Cork University Hospital was the most overcrowded in April for the second month in a row and 658 people were forced to use trolleys at CUH last month, up a staggering 130 per cent compared to ten years ago.

The figures were released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation last Wednesday morning ahead of their three-day conference, which took place in Clayton Whites Hotel.

The Trolley/Ward Watch statistics show that overcrowding is on the rise in hospitals outside of Dublin. 27,200 people were on trolleys at 25 hospitals outside of the capital in the first four months of this year, up nearly 3,500 from the same period in 2016.

At Wexford General Hospital the figures show that a total of 540 people were on hospital trolleys during the first four months of this year. This compares with a figure of 1,417 for the same period in 2006.

The number of patients on trolleys at Wexford General Hospital exceeded 1,000 on two occasions over the past 12 years.

The figures show that between January and April 2006 there were 1,417 people on trolleys at the hospital. This reduced to 434 for the same period in 2007 while it stood at 510 for the same period in 2008.

The figures stood at 424 and 461 respectively for 2009 and 2010 while it rose significantly to 1,200 between January and April 2011.

It dropped to 388 for the same period in 2012 before rising to 681 in 2013. In 2014 the figure stood at 322 and again rose sharply in 21015 to 981 before dropping to 435 between January and April 2016 and this year it stands at 540.

Comparing the figures for the number of patients on trolleys at Wexford General Hospital for the month of April since 2006 the figures show that the average number of people is 150 although this varied greatly year on year.

In April 2006 there were 259 patients on trolleys at the hospital; 3 in 2007; 162 in 2008; 191 in 2009; 51 in 2010; 287 in 2011; 55 in 2012; 264 in 2013; 106 in 2014; 206 in 2015; 59 in 2016 and 163 in 2017.

The three most overcrowded hospitals last month were CUH (658 people on trolleys), University Hospital Limerick (649) and South Tipperary General Hospital (493).

The INMO's General Secretary Liam Doran said the situation needs to be urgently addressed.

'These latest statistics confirm that our health services continue to be too small to adequately and safely meet the demands being placed upon it. The shortage of beds in acute hospitals and step-down facilities remains a real problem in this ongoing crisis.

'Additional services, either in terms of acute beds, step-down beds and/or community intervention teams are dependent on there being additional nursing staff.

'It remains the stark reality that without nurses and midwives we cannot meet current demand let alone in the future', he said.

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