Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the ongoing shortage of beds in the hospital system as another broken government promise and said it was continuing to impact on a daily basis on patients and staff, with trolley numbers growing.

The Sinn Féin TD said there were 582 patients on trolleys today (30 April) according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and this is completely abnormal for a health system.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Over the past number of weeks, the volume of patients on trolleys has been extremely high, marked by the 631 patients who were on trolleys on 9 April.

“Today the INMO have revealed that there are 582 patients on trolleys in hospitals throughout the State, 30 of these patients on trolleys are in Tallaght hospital.

“The highest number of patients on trolleys is again in Limerick, but hospitals in Dublin continue to present high numbers all year round.

“Consecutive Fine Gael governments have had nearly eight years to address this crisis, to open closed hospital beds, to build new hospital beds, and to hire and retain more staff – but they have completely failed to do this.

“Consecutive Health Ministers have all promised to resolve the trolley crisis but this hasn’t happened and doesn’t look likely anytime soon.

“Key staff shortages, appalling unsafe working conditions, and rising trolley numbers have forced nursing staff to engage in industrial action in the past.

“The promises and undertaking that had the potential to resolve those disputes continue to be broken, as this trolley count shows.

“In the last decade, there has been a decrease of over 1,100 beds in our hospitals, due a lack of nurses and doctors to staff them and because this government’s failing health policy.

“We need to see immediate movement on the reopening of all closed beds in our hospitals and we need action on addressing the recruitment and retention crisis affecting our nurses and doctors. If this is not done then patients will be left on trolleys and their safety will continue to be put at risk.”