One hundred and fifty five people aged 75 and older spent more than 24 hours on a trolley in the emergency department at Midlands Regional Hospital, Mullingar in the first nine months of the year, according to new figures from the HSE.
The figures, which were obtained by the Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly, also revealed that outside its two Dublin hospitals, the Mater (1,103 people) and St Vincent’s (795 people), Mullingar had the highest number of elderly patients who spent more than a day on an emergency department (ED) trolley in the Ireland East Hospital Group.
The other hospitals in the group are Our Lady’s Hospital Navan (95 people), Wexford General Hospital (69 people), St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny (1 person) and St Michael’s Hospital, Dún Laoghaire (0).
Nationally, 10,855 over 75s spent more than 24 hours on a trolley in EDs between January and the end of September, with UH Limerick (1,384) and Galway University Hospitals (1,289 people) recording the highest numbers.
Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Cllr Sorca Clarke, the Sinn Féin general election candidate, said that the figures revealed that “there are capacity issues across the HSE which urgently need addressing”.
“There are not enough beds to meet demand and equally there is not enough home care packages to assist for older people in their own homes,” she said.
“This has resulted in the undignified position of too many older people lying on trolleys in our hospitals and it also leads to increased stress on our already over worked and under appreciated hospital staff. The minister must take urgent action to ensure that this situation is addressed,” said Cllr Clarke.