Reacting to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO)’s Trolleywatch statistics, Deputy Halligan said the overcrowding raised serious concerns about patient safety at UHW.
“In June 2014, a total of 65 patients at UHW were recorded by nurses as being on trolleys awaiting a bed,” Deputy Halligan noted. “Last month, that figure shot up to 181 patients.”
Deputy Halligan pointed out that the Trolleywatch figures for UHW had been rising steadily over the last decade. “Figures provided to me by the INMO revealed that just 40 patients spent time on trolleys at UHW in June 2008 and 71 in June 2009. Last month Waterford had the second highest increase in the level of overcrowding in the country, after St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.”
“These figures are proof of the catastrophic effect that cutbacks and excessive workloads are having on our hospital’s staff. Patient care is being compromised, sick people are being treated in a completely undignified manner and who knows how many lives are being put at risk, while the Government is failing miserably to tackle the situation.”
John Halligan has contacted Health Minister Leo Varadkar, seeking emergency funding to be allocated to University Hospital Waterford to allow additional bed capacity and staff to tackle Emergency Department overcrowding, ahead of the busy winter months.
“Failure to act now will undoubtedly result in a crisis at UHW during the traditionally busier winter months,” he concluded