Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, raised the worrying and dangerous conditions in Tallaght Hospital with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, in the Dáil. The Sinn Féin TD called for extra supports and resources to relieve the bed shortage and trolley crisis in hospital.

Deputy Crowe said:

“Tallaght Hospital is the busiest trauma hospital in the country and cannot cherry pick patients or those who come for treatment in the hospital.  I, along with others, received some extremely concerning information from a Consultant in the Accident and Emergency Department, which stated that Tallaght Hospital was ‘unsafe and dangerous’ because a lack of on-site bed capacity and staffing shortages.

“On Wednesday of this week Tallaght Hospital had a 35% surge in its admission rate and 71 patients were lying on trollies in the Emergency Department at 7am.

“This meant that a cardiac arrest patient was kept in the waiting room while they awaited treatment and another cardiac patient was in the toilet of the Emergency Department (ED) extremely agitated having spent 32 hours languishing on a trolley in the ED.

“The hospital was forced to cancel elective surgery admissions and tried everything to deal with the crisis through off-site beds in St. Luke’s and Mount Carmel, but they were also full.

“When I raised this directly with the Minister in the Dáil his reply didn’t give me any confidence that the Government has a plan to deal with this serious escalation in Tallaght Hospital. His comments will be cold comfort to the family of an 89 year old patient who was stuck on a trolley in the ED after 23 hours or the 71 year old patient languishing there for 52 hours.

“The Minister didn’t identify any additional resources that will be made available to the hospital and that is completely unacceptable. The Minister must prioritise making Tallaght Hospital safe for patients and staff, and ensure that it provides the highest quality of healthcare.

“If they were really serious about addressing the issues which created this latest healthcare crisis then they would prioritise tackling four main areas: recruitment and retention of staff, the reopening of closed beds, adequate step down beds and a structured roll out of primary and community. Each of these issues is interlinked and left unaddressed they will continue to contribute to the trolley crisis and directly on ED staff and vulnerable patients.”