HSE statement: Hospital Emergency Departments

HSE Media Statement

22nd January 2016

Hospital Emergency Departments have been exceptionally busy over recent days.  In some instances this has led to significant delays for patients attending ED and for those waiting for admission to a hospital bed. 

In general EDs are reporting a 10% increase overall in attendances with some sites reporting significant increases e.g. Connolly Hospital 14%, Our Lady’s of Lourdes Drogheda 21%, Cork University Hospital 14% and Beaumont Hospital 12%. In the first 20 days of 2016 there have been 64,952 attendances across all EDs up 5,415 on 2015. Of particular significance has been the marked  increase in the proportion of older persons attending EDs. These patients typically have a much higher requirement for admission.

Flu like illness rates have quadrupled and are now at equivalent levels to end of February 2015 and our hospitals are reporting increased prevalence of patients presenting with respiratory/flu like symptoms.

In line with the agreed ED escalation procedures, some hospitals have taken the decision to postpone non-urgent (elective) procedures to help alleviate pressures in the EDs.  All affected patients have been contacted and informed that their appointments will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Hospitals are also requesting that, where appropriate, members of the public explore all other options available to them prior to attending the ED if their needs are not urgent.  In particular, the HSE would like to remind people that there are now a number of minor and local injury units to provide treatment and care for routine non urgent matters.  These include the Rapid Access Clinic in Smithfield, Dublin; Mercy Urgent Care Centre, Gurranabraher, Cork; and the Minor Injury Unit at Louth County Hospital, Dundalk.

Trolley Gar figures for this morning show that at 8am 386 patients were on trolleys with 158 waiting over 9 hours.

Ends.

Last updated on: 22 / 01 / 2016