Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed his frustration and disappointment at the latest round of A&E trolley statistics which describe South Tipperary General Hospital as among those facilities that have “suffered the greatest deterioration” in trolley management. The figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) also show that March 2016 saw a 100% increase in trolley overcrowding nationally compared to March 2008 when 4,701 patients were on trolleys.
“We need to constantly bear in mind that each of these statistics represents an elderly person or a sick child desperately in need of medical attention. It is therefore truly disturbing to have it confirmed that patient numbers at South Tipperary General Hospital are up from 233 on trolleys last year to to 552 (+ 319) this year.
In light of these figures I think we need to seriously consider convening something like a national crisis meeting to consider workable and realistic solutions.
We have seen this happen in the last fortnight with respect to the housing emergency where all key stakeholders and NGO’s gathered together in an attempt to outline viable ways forward.
The INMO themselves are telling us that despite all of the initiatives to date, the service continues to face intolerable levels of overcrowding due to a continuing lack of beds and staff right across the system.
So we are at a point where in housing we have a lack of supply and in health we have a total absence of ready and available beds. This is completely unacceptable.
I myself have made addressing the chronic overcrowding in A&E Departments a central plank of my recent negotiations. Patients want solutions. They care very little about political ideology when their grandmother is on her second day in a overcrowded emergency room.
We need solutions that can be implemented in the immediate term and even in the absence of a government formation.
Patients cannot wait for the end of this process before we make moves to address what is clearly developing into an intractable and life threatening daily scenario,” concluded Deputy McGrath.