Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne TD has called on the HSE to establish a new system of recording the number of people without beds in our Emergency Departments and right across hospital wards.

The current HSE TrolleyGAR system focuses solely on trolleys and fails to account for people on chairs or on the floor in wards.

Deputy Browne said, “Last week was one of the worst on record for overcrowding in our Emergency Departments. Hospitals across the country reported shockingly high trolley figures, but on top of that were dozens of patients left on chairs, and on the floor, as they waited to be treated or admitted.

“In University Hospital Waterford, we had photos emerging of the situation in the psychiatric unit where as many as 10 patients were being treated on chairs or on the floor. This is not only abhorrent, it is inhumane.

“There is a sense of complacency beginning to creep in with regard to the overcrowding crisis, and the current recording system is not even reflecting the true extent of the situation. This suits the Health Minister, but it is not acceptable.

“I am calling on Minister Harris and the HSE to establish a new system of recording hospital overcrowding by including people waiting on chairs and on floors. Only then will see how serious the situation has become and be able to deal with it effectively. Fine Gael has turned a blind eye to the daily trauma that people in our Emergency Departments, and right across our hospitals are facing. It’s not good enough”, concluded Deputy Browne.