Massive spike in trolley numbers at Mayo General since Fine Gael and Labour came to power

Image: Google Maps
Mayo General Hospital, Image: Google Maps

INMO data shows alarming increase in just two years

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Mayo Cllr. Lisa Chambers has said she is seriously concerned about the risks posed to patients at Mayo General Hospital if the overcrowding crisis continues at the Emergency Department. New figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show the number of patients waiting on trolleys in the months of June has rocketed from 5 in 2013 to 144 last month.

Cllr. Chambers said the most alarming element of the data is that it was recorded in a traditionally quiet month for hospitals and at a point in the year when hospital budgets would not be under as much strain as in winter.

Cllr. Chambers commented, “Traditionally June wouldn’t be a pressure point for the Emergency Department so the massive increase in the number of people waiting on trolleys compared with the same month two years ago points to a serious issue.

“It’s clear that there are underlying problems in how this government has been executing its health policy and it’s causing real problems for patients. The record of this government on health has been nothing short of disastrous. The health service has limped from year to year with bogus budgets, flawed targets and unrealistic expectations of frontline staff.

“5 people were waiting on trolleys during June 2013, that jumped to 111 in 2014 and has increased further to 144 last month – a rise of almost 3000% over the two year period. This is a damning indictment of the health policies pursued by this government. These increases cannot be sustained and raise serious questions about the risks posed to patient safety.

“I have no doubt that our healthcare professionals are providing the best possible care to patients but the conditions and stress that they are being put under as a result of failed policies are really intolerable. I have noticed a lot more concern about morale in the health service and far from attracting new people into the system, the conditions that staff are expected to work under is actually prompting many people to leave or consider leaving the Irish health service entirely.

“We need a meaningful strategy for the health service that puts patients and services at the heart of the decision-making. We have a government that is heading into an election cycle with a failed health policy, the longest hospital waiting lists for many years and a Minister more concerned with protecting his image than prioritising patients.

“The situation at the Emergency Department at Mayo General is serious. But we are only at the halfway point in the year and in the budget. How much more serious will things look if the government does not get its act together? A winter with budgets under strain and increased admissions at the Emergency Department could push the health service to breaking point.”