Patient shared trolley with handcuffed prisoner in Cork

Sam McNicholl, who runs Connolly’s popular pub and music venue in Leap, Co Cork, has described sharing a trolley with a handcuffed prisoner in Cork University Hospital’s emergency department last month.

Mr McNicholl had appendicitis symptoms but there was no trolley available when he arrived so he sat in agony on a plastic chair for eight hours. Speaking on C103’s Cork Today Show, Mr McNicholl said he felt CUH staff, who were wonderful, were pushed beyond breaking point: “My instinct was to leave. I was actually taking turns on a trolley with another young guy. I don’t know what he was in the hospital for. The only thing I do know is he was a prisoner. He was handcuffed to somebody.”

Mr McNicholl arrived at the hospital at 11pm but had to wait until 4pm the next day for surgery. He wrote about his experience on Facebook in appreciation for the hard work and kindness of hospital staff.

Stephen McMahon of the Irish Patients Association raised the case of a patient in Tallaght Hospital in Dublin who was on a trolley in a ward since Monday: “She has sepsis and her trolley is beside a sliding door which makes it all the more uncomfortable that ward.”

The hospital said its emergency department had had a very high number of emergency attendances which caused longer patient waiting times.

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