Hospital trolley record - An endless cycle of dysfunction

As our national day approaches it seems appropriate, if entirely disheartening too, that our national metric of dysfunction in health services — the number of people waiting on trolleys in A&E wards — has reached a record.

At one point yesterday there were, according to the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) 714 patients on trolleys, the highest number recorded. Under the HSE’s system of calculation, there were just 534 but this figure does not include patients moved from A&E to wait for a hospital bed.

It is more than disheartening though that this sorry point has been reached despite a litany of assurances from health ministers that the situation would be resolved. That those assurances were echoed, even if in a qualified way, by administrators adds to the disappointment but they confirm international findings that we pay an above the peer average for health services but get below average outcomes.

It seems fair to suggest that if this situation could be easily resolved it would have been. It also seems fair to suggest that the scale of the problem, and the investment suggested by some health service leaders to resolve it, seem out of control.

The HSE chief Tony O’Brien will leave his position in the summer. His successor, just like the next garda commissioner, will have to resolve toxic legacy issues before they can even think of building for the future. Is it any wonder that the cycle of dysfunction seems unbreakable?

Related Articles

Tackling of this hospital trolley scandal is long overdue

One in three hospitals have no medication safety plan

New reality needed on HSE costs - Health can’t fail as water charges did

CUH worst affected hospital today; 575 patients on trolleys across the country

More in this Section

Born to survive: Humans defuse population bomb

Sharing information can be the difference between life and death

Growing power of social media - Trying to expose the puppeteers

Twickenham Grand Slam - An inspiring achievement


Join the conversation - comment here

House rules for comments - FAQ


Today's Stories

Man died in doorway after sleeping rough

St Patrick’s Day celebrations: Cold fails to deter as force is with parade warriors

Dancing with the Stars: McGregor knocked out before final bout

Fear of court action delay to Bandon drainage works


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner