BREAKING: Number of patients on trolleys at St Luke’s quadruples as hospital overcrowding levels soar
THE number of patients left languishing on trolleys at St Luke’s General Hospital has more than quadrupled in the space of just four days, KilkennyNow.ie can reveal.
Latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) trolley ward watch reveal 46 patients at our local hospital were forced to wait for a bed today due to severe overcrowding.
This number is more than four times greater than the 11 patients who were treated on trolleys at St Luke’s on Monday.
A total of 460 patients were left waiting for a bed today in hospitals across the country.
This number is expected to increase further over coming days as temperatures plummet and winter flu cases rise.
The Health Services Executive (HSE) has warned a new virulent strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus is circulating throughout the country.
Health authorities have urged people in vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and children to get vaccinated, and others to stay at home if they notice they have flu-life symptoms.
Our ailing health system will come under even more intense pressure at the end of this month with the beginning of the first of six planned 24-hour strikes by nurses and midwives at St Luke’s and hospitals across the country.
The INMO’s 37,000 members will strike on January 30, and February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14 if their pay issues are not addressed.
Members will continue to provide lifesaving care and emergency response teams during this period, but some operations and clinic appointments will be cancelled.
The dispute centres on pay, conditions and staffing levels. The number of staff nurses working in Ireland fell by 1,754 (6%) between 2008 and 2018, despite an increased demand on the health service.
An overwhelming 95% of INMO members have voted in favour of going on strike.