Dublin Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power has expressed serious concern about the continuing overcrowding crisis at Beaumont Hospital. According to the latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there are 42 patients on trolleys in the A&E unit at Beaumont today. There are also 14,000 people on the hospital’s outpatient waiting list.
“With 42 patients on trolleys, Beaumont Hospital’s A&E department has the highest level of overcrowding in the country today,” said Senator Power. “There is no doubt that this is putting patients at risk.”
Beaumont is under increasing pressure as a result of a result of Minister Reilly’s decision to close community beds and the recent mass exodus of staff from the health service. Senator Power has warned that things are set to get worse if the Government goes ahead with plans to close 898 community beds this year.
“More and more patients in north Dublin will have to be treated in Beaumont instead of getting the care they need in community hospitals and nursing homes. This is completely illogical. We should be working to transfer services out of expensive acute hospitals and into the community, not the other way around,” she said.
She also pointed out that there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of people waiting for out-patient procedures as a result of the Government’s decision to scrap the National Treatment Purchase Fund last year. “Recent HSE figures revealed that over 14,000 people are on outpatient waiting lists in Beaumont,” she said.
According to Senator Power, “Community bed closures, badly handled staffing cuts and the scrapping of the Treatment Purchase scheme are all putting Beaumont under huge pressure. I have no doubt that staff are doing their best to cope and to deliver quality care to their patients. But things are likely to get worse unless Minister Reilly has a fundamental rethink of his failed policies.”