Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says the latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation should act as a wake-up call to the Health Minister and HSE and speed up the approval of a funding request from Letterkenny University Hospital to re-open the short stay ward.

The new figures reveal that 459 patients were on trolleys during the month of October at LUH.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “Trolley figures at Letterkenny University Hospital have been increasing steadily over the past year, with the full capacity protocol having to be implemented on a number of occasions.  There is no doubt that the reopening of a short stay ward would help ease the pressure that the hospital is experiencing and I am urging Minister Harris to urgently approve the €1.8m which has been requested.

“I have now written to Minister Harris to further the case for increasing capacity at LUH from 330 beds to 350 beds, and the INMO figures released this week should further substantiate this request.

“Patients and staff at LUH are angry and frustrated.  The hospital is regularly running at full capacity and resources are being stretched way beyond their limits.  It is now the norm, rather than the exception, for patients to be left waiting in the Emergency Department because there are no beds available in the wards.

“The investment, which LUH management has requested, would go some way to easing the pressure on the hospital, especially as we enter the busy winter season”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.