Dramatic surge in number of patients treated on trolleys at St Luke’s Hospital
THE number of patients left languishing on trolleys at St Luke’s General Hospital has surged nine-fold in the space of just two days.
A total of 27 patients were treated on trolleys at our local hospital on the last day of 2018, latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’ trolley and ward watch reveal.
This is a significant increase on the three patients who were forced to wait for a bed at the beginning of the week.
Fears of hospital overcrowding in Kilkenny and across the country are growing as the unseasonably warm temperatures experienced over the festive period are set to drop over the coming weeks.
Health Minister Simon Harris has warned that hospital admissions are set to rise sharply over the coming weeks.
He said: “So far this year’s Christmas and New Year’s period has gone better than last year and better than recent years. But I do still ask the public for their co-operation in keeping our emergency departments for emergencies and using the appropriate health service for the appropriate condition.
“This is going to be a very busy period for the health service, there’s no doubt about it. We’re going to continue to see a surge in the number of patients entering our hospitals.”
Nationally, hospital overcrowding figures are lower than last year, mostly as a result of a lower rate of flu so far during the Christmas and New Year period.
Minister Harris said more measures will be introduced next week to increase the health service’s capacity, including the expansion of acute medical assessment units in a number of hospitals to operate on a 24-hour basis.