Overcrowding crisis gripping Mayo hospital

Thursday, 6th December, 2018 12:24pm

Overcrowding crisis gripping Mayo hospital

MAYO University Hospital (MUH) is in the grips of another overcrowding crisis.

In excess of 110 patients were left waiting on trolleys at the centre during the last week of November, with a peak on Friday last of 46 - the second highest of any hospital in the country.

The figure stands at 17 today, yet it is still one of the highest nationally.

An elected member of the HSE West Forum told The Connaught Telegraph the difficulties for frontline staff are not going to get any better because of a number of underlying issues.

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne said a significant number of elderly patients were being accommodated in the hospital because resources are not being provided to activate their approved home care/home help packages.

At present there are 33 applicants that meet the criteria and are approved a home support service pending carer availability. A further 252 applicants who meet the criteria are wait-listed due to lack of resources and 24 of those are seeking an increase in their existing home support service.

"The prolonged length of time an applicant has to wait to receive home support is far from ideal for the elderly person, their families or the hospital," he stated.

Councillor Kilcoyne said there are currently 20.5 staff vacancies at MUH, a factor that is also contributing to the problem. "While I accept every effort is being made to fill these positions, it is a high number and pressure is being placed on other staff members."

He said the number of patients who spent time on a trolley awaiting a bed at MUH during October was 178, down from 213 the previous year.

The average length of time spent waiting for a bed during the month in question was 11.38 hours, a reduction from 12.78 hours recorded in October 2017.

"While progress is being made due to the outstanding work of frontline staff, I am still very concerned over what lies ahead over the coming months," he added.

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