Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has said today’s surge in trolley numbers presents a highly concerning risk.
The latest figures of more than 300 people waiting on trolleys represents a significant risk in overcrowded hospitals, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Hospitals are under serious pressure to stay open and operate within capacity.
“This is made significantly more difficult by the Covid-19 pandemic which has stretched hospital capacity to deliver care and ensure infection prevention.
“More than 300 people were on trolleys and waiting for beds this morning.
“Not only is this highly undignified, but it presents a serious risk of transmission of a number of infectious diseases – including Covid-19.
“Clinicians and hospital management are doing everything they can to reduce risk, reduce length of stay, and only take in those who absolutely require acute care.
“They see the risk first hand, and it is easy for policy makers to distance themselves from it but these are real people who are seriously unwell.
“In August, I launched a plan to deliver additional temporary capacity to hospitals to avoid overcrowding and reliance on trolleys.
“The Government’s Winter Plan was not ambitious enough, and did not deliver sufficient investment in emergency capacity protection and expansion.
“We need more beds and specialists, but we also need significantly more investment in community care.”