October 29, 2021
789 Patients on trolleys in West/North West lays bare Government failure to invest in healthcare – Rose Conway-Walsh TD

Mayo Sinn Féin TD, Rose Conway-Walsh, has expressed serious concern at the lack of available acute inpatient beds in Saolta Hospital Group Hospitals, with almost 800 patients having spent days on trolleys last week.


Teachta Conway Walsh stated:


“According to INMO Trolley Watch data collated and analysed by the Irish Patients Association, Saolta Hospital Group has been the worst performing Hospital Group for trolley numbers. This lays bare a failure by Government to invest in healthcare for West, Mid-West, and North-West of Ireland.


“Rather than investment, we have seen the downgrading of district hospitals such as in Belmullet.


“It is even more concerning when we consider last week’s news that 22 people are waiting more than 4 years for inpatient care in Mayo University Hospital.


“Last week, Saolta Hospital Group Emergency Departments were the worst performing emergency departments in the state in terms of overcrowding.


“That is not a reflection on the trojan work of staff, but a failure of Government to address acute capacity deficiencies in these hospitals.


“This lack of beds is a serious concern for many reasons. Firstly, it means that patients presenting at emergency departments are not getting treated properly for their injuries.


“Secondly, it means that scheduled care – such as vital surgeries – is being cancelled to free up beds for emergency care.


“Thirdly, with the worrying situation of Covid-19 in our hospitals, this is putting more pressure on ICU capacity and exposing more patients and staff to Covid outbreaks due to unsafe working conditions in hospitals.


“This lays bare the failure of Government to invest in the region to tackle healthcare inequality in the last decade – and, indeed, they did not provide for one additional inpatient acute bed in Budget 2022 meaning they do not intend to solve this problem.


“This has been ongoing for years and underlines how this Government have left the West in particular, but the regions more generally, behind.”

“We urgently need funding for 600 more hospital beds next year above pre-committed levels and €150m investment in theatre capacity and diagnostic equipment.