Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that new figures expose an alarming number of patients are waiting more than 24 hours for care at University Hospital Tallaght’s Emergency Department.

The figures suggest that hospital overcrowding is on track to return to pre-pandemic levels with more than 1,650 people having had a wait longer than 24 hours in UHT alone this year.

Teachta Crowe said that much more must be done to ensure that patients at UHT receive high quality and timely care without these appalling delays.

Teachta Crowe said:

“More than 1,650 people have been left waiting for more than 24 hours to be seen at University Hospital Tallaght’s Emergency Department so far this year. Behind every number is a patient who needed timely care and was left to wait for far too long.

“I was contacted this week by a family member of a cancer patient in their 80s who had been stuck on a trolley for over 36 hours at that point. How can any Government stand over a health service where this is not even shocking anymore?

“The pain and distress caused by these delays is considerable. People attend emergency departments because they require urgent care. This scandal is happening because of process and leadership failures across the health service.

“Let me be clear, the staff at UHT are doing an incredible job, working under pressure to do their very best to serve our community, but they are being let down by a lack of funding, planning and leadership by the government.

“Emergency Department overcrowding is set to be as severe this year as it ever was before the pandemic.

“These long delays also impact the ambulance service with vitally needed ambulances left sitting outside the hospital as they cannot deliver patients into care.

“I have written to the management of UHT recently asking that reforms be put in place, such as greater interlink with a patient’s GP and the overturning of the prohibition of carers accompanying patients, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

“The Minister must lead from the front. Staff at UHT are working day and night to look after our community, but they aren’t getting the support they need from government. Patients deserve better and I will continue to raise this with the government until the changes needed are delivered.”