Trolley Figures At UHK Emergency Department In July Up 100% On Previous High

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THE latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show the numbers of patients waiting on trolleys at University Hospital Kerry was double the previous highest number for the month since records began.

July saw 289 patients waiting on trolleys at the Emergency Department at UHK. The previous highest for July was 144 back in 2016. The current figure is up 1,600% on the 2009 figure when just 17 patients were waiting on trolleys during the month.

The figures are way up on the national average, as there was an 11% increase in patients on trolleys since last July, which is still the worst since records began in 2006.

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INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “Overcrowding is now a constant feature of our hospital system, even in summer. Low salaries for nurses and midwives mean that vacancies simply aren’t being taken up and health service capacity can’t grow. Without realistic pay correction for nurses and midwives, this problem won’t be fixed.

“The HSE still haven’t set out their funding workforce plan, which sets how many nurses and midwives they will recruit this year. The hazardous working conditions for staff look set to worsen.

“The HSE is sleepwalking into yet another winter crisis. We have today sought discussions on which services will be curtailed this winter, so that nursing staff can work in safe environments. It is very unlikely that services will develop to alleviate overcrowding this year. Plans must now be put in place to ensure a safe working environment.”

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