FULL Capacity Protocol was deployed at Letterkenny University Hospital over 100 times last year it has emerged.
It comes after 33 patients, admitted for care, were on trolleys in LUH this morning, among 612 patients country-wide.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s (INMO) General Secretary Liam Doran said the figures were truly shocking.
“The compromising of care, not to mention the loss of privacy and dignity, cannot go unchallenged and must be acknowledged and addressed by health management. We cannot allow this to become just another statistic and it must result in a fundamentally new approach to our health system as overcrowding, as the 2016 figures confirm, continues to grow.
“The stark reality is that in 2007, after it was declared a ‘National Emergency’, the number of patients on trolleys was recorded as 50,402. However, in 2016 this has increased by 86% to 93,621. This confirms that successive governments’ approach, to the public health service, have failed to address this problem and it must now become a top priority for a government wide response in 2017.”
“Our genuine fear is, based upon a number of factors including the incidence of influenza and closed beds due to staff shortages, that, in the coming days, the situation may deteriorate still further. An emergency response is now required and this must be forthcoming, from health management, immediately,” Mr Doran said.
Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said that the full capacity protocol was supposed to be deployed or initiated as a last resort.
“The trolleys crisis in our hospitals including Letterkenny University Hospital is the result of years of chronic under-investment in our health service by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments. The solution to the crisis is an urgent level of investment in beds, nurses and doctors that reverses the years of neglect. This means investment in home care packages, community hospitals, nursing units as well as our major hospitals like Letterkenny. It’s a whole of service response to a whole of service crisis,” Senator MacLochlainn said
Posted: 2:57 pm January 3, 2017