Patients urged not to attend Tallaght Emergency Department due to waiting times

by Mark O'Brien
Tallaght University Hospital is experiencing unprecedented demand at their Emergency Department following last week's severe weather

Tallaght University Hospital are urging people to only attend their Emergency Department (ED) if it is absolutely necessary due to the high number of emergency attendances.

The hospital say that this is resulting in longer patient waiting times.

In a statement released this morning, hospital management said: “We are asking the public where possible to attend their GP or out of hours GP services in the first instance.

“ED patients are seen in order of priority which may result in patients with minor illnesses or injuries experiencing delays.

“We would like to thank the general public for their understanding and cooperation during this busy period.”

The news comes after the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) reported a record amount of people waiting on hospital trolleys across the country yesterday.

There were 40 patients waiting on trolleys in Tallaght University Hospital yesterday, with 24 people waiting on trolleys today.

Local councillor Charlie O’Connor (FF) has called for urgent action from the Health Minister Simon Harris, saying that the current crisis unfolding at the hospital has raised fears about safety at the facility.

Cllr O’Connor’s comments come as Dr James Gray, a consultant in Accident and Emergency medicine at Tallaght University Hospital, warned that conditions at the ED have become ‘dangerous and unsafe’.

“The fact that a consultant working in our hospital has warned that conditions are not safe is deeply worrying,” said Cllr O’Connor.

“In any normal system, it would prompt major pressure on the Health Minister.

“However,  we appear to have a government that continues to just operate business as usual despite the fact that all records around people waiting on trollies are being broken.

“People in Tallaght have heard enough talk from the government about the great work they are doing.

“They watch in disgust as public money is spent on buying adverts promoting the work of the government at the very same time as a 64 year old neighbour of ours is forced to lie on a trolley for more than four days.”

In a statement released yesterday, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said that the ED Taskforce had met to discuss the current crisis.

The Taskforce was briefed on the HSEs recovery plan and key actions which includes the cancellation of non-urgent inpatient procedures across most hospital sites, the postponement of day surgery at some hospitals to provide beds for emergency patients and the transfer of public patients to private hospitals where appropriate.

The HSE added that a further €5m was allocated last week to 13 hospitals so support the purchase of home support packages for the next four weeks.

John Connaghan, Joint Chairperson of the ED Taskforce said: “While it has always been acknowledged that the health service would experience a difficult and challenging time following the recent adverse weather, all efforts continue to be made to address the issues delaying patient flow through the hospital and community care system.

“The commitment and resilience of our health care staff throughout this challenging time has been fully acknowledged by the ED Taskforce members today.”


Related Articles