N28S2Pic The number of patients waiting on trolleys in the Emergency Department at  Waterford Regional Hospital for ward bed accommodation has increased by 67 per  cent in the past year, according to new official figures.
A report by the Special Delivery Unit’s National Treatment Purchase Fund,  published on Monday, noted a ‘significant performance deterioration’ at WRH  from March 2012 to August 2013, though much of this is said to have taken place  since March of this year.
A ‘less than optimal operational control and related patient pathway progression’  was a key factor in the deteriorating situation at WRH, though the limited surgical  bed capacity at the hospital was also cited. There are currently 25 surgical beds  and a further six paediatric beds closed at the hospital.
The report also gave regional figures for the number of patients waiting for inpatients and outpatients appointments.
In the HSE South/South West area, over 20 per cent of patients are now waiting over eight months for an inpatient appointment, while 26 per cent of people seeking an outpatient appointment with a consultant are on a list for more than 12 months.
Nationally, there has been a considerable reduction in the overall numbers of patients waiting on trolleys in hospital emergency departments; Waterford is one of the few hospitals in the country where the situation has deteriorated.