THE number of patients on trolleys in Letterkenny University Hospital’s (LUH) emergency department has surged by 45 per cent.
Figures show there were 136 patients without a bed at the hospital at the end of August. In the same time frame in 2021, 61 patients were on a trolley – a rise of 44.85 per cent.
The number of emergency department attendances also rose, by 11 per cent.
At the end of August 2021, 27, 879 people had attended the hospital’s emergency department.
This increased by 3,198 to 31,077 at the end of August this year.
The number of patients admitted to the hospital jumped eight per cent from 5,049 in August 2021 to 5,471 in August of this year.
The figures were provided to Cllr Ciaran Brogan at this week’s Regional Health Forum West meeting, as management of LUH issued a statement yesterday warning the hospital was under “significant pressure”. Management said 160 people had attended the emergency department on Tuesday.
The Letterkenny-based councillor asked what steps were being taken to address delays at LUH’s emergency department.
In response, Saolta University Healthcare Group said a number of processes were in place to tackle the issue.
Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operations Officer, Saolta, said “pathways” have been introduced to improve the patients experience in the ED.
They include a community intervention team, a local injury unit, a chest pain pathway and the employment of an additional porter.
Processes also include a Patient Advice Liaison Officer, a Frailty at the Door Service, which carries out comprehensive assessment on older people looking at “alternative pathways to avoid admission or to allow early discharge”.