ACCORDING to new figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), as many as 97 beds have been closed at Louth County Hospital up until May of this year.
This figures includes closures for acute and non-acute beds at the hospital.
The INMO has updated its list of bed closures which now shows that 2,402 public beds are closed around the country compared with 705 when the survey commenced in October 2009.
There has however been a decrease in the number of people on trolleys across the state according to the INMO.
The INMO continually carryout a comparative analysis of its trolley watch statistics for the months of January to April from 2007 – 2012. The trolley watch counts, on a daily basis, the number of patients, who have been admitted, but who are left on a trolley awaiting an in-patient bed. The analysis revealed the following:
Nationally there was an overall reduction, in the first four months of 2012 compared with 2011, of 17 per cent; the greater Dublin area showed a reduction, in 2012 compared to 2011, of 23 per cent; the rest of the country showed a reduction for the same period of 13 per cent.
The national figure was also down, on the 2010 total for those four months, by 3%; and,
The 2012 figures still confirmed an overall increase compared with figures for 2007, 2008 and 2009.
At last year’s Annual Conference the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD announced that the INMO’s daily trolley count was accurate and the figures were to be used by all parties in future. According to the INMO there is “no doubt” that following this, the Minister, through the introduction of the Special Delivery Unit, has prioritised the need for hospitals to manage their ED situation on a 24/7 basis, with particular emphasis on reducing the number of patients on trolleys every day.