Daly Calls For Zero-Tolerance Approach To Hospital Overcrowding At UHK

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Deputy Pa Daly.

SINN Féin TD for Kerry, Pa Daly, 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.

The figures show for University Hospital Kerry show 338 patients were waiting on trolleys the hospital in March, the highest figure for the month since 2019 when 297 were on trollies in UHK.

Deputy Daly demanded that the Minister for Health take urgent action to address the root cause of dysfunction in our hospital which is driving the trolley crisis.

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“I am very concerned by the high number of people waiting on trolleys at UHK,” he said.

“Over the past 15 years, we have witnessed persistently high trolley numbers in the hospital, which was already worryingly high and unacceptable.  It is not uncommon to see high numbers of people waiting on trolleys in UHK for more than 9 or even 24 hours.

“The government must take a zero-tolerance approach to hospital overcrowding and ensure that Kerry people have access to high quality and timely healthcare.

“There is a need for more beds and capacity in diagnostics and surgical theatres, but that is not all.  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.

“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.

“Patients at UHK deserve better and the government must do everything possible to address this crisis urgently,” he said.

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