Overcrowding within the Emergency Department in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda reached record levels today, Tuesday, with 63 patients awaiting in-patient beds being cared for on trolleys, according to the Irish Nurses' Organisation (INMO).
This morning 45 patients were on trolleys within the Emergency Department, as well as 15 in the Medical Assessment Unit and three on extra trolleys placed on wards throughout the hospital. This is an appalling situation for the patients, some of whom have been waiting on trolleys since Saturday, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Tony Fitzpatrick said.
The situation has been greatly exacerbated by cutbacks imposed since September 1st, which saw the closure 61 beds across the region - 16 beds in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, 24 in the Louth County, Dundalk and 21 in Our Lady's Hospital, Navan.
The ED in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital was designed to hold 19 trolleys, however this morning 45 admitted patients were on trolleys within the department on top of the normal Emergency Department presentations. The situation which has pertained within the hospital is creating significant risk for patients and is escalating the chances of poor patient outcomes.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: "The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is seeking the immediate intervention of the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly to ensure that adequate resources are in place for safe patient care and safe practice for our members. It is unacceptable that cuts made by the Minister to the provision of agency and overtime, as well as the resulting closure of beds, is now greatly exacerbating the situation in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and placing patients at risk."