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Use private hospitals & nursing homes for trolley crisis – McInerney

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Beds at private hospitals and nursing homes need to be utilised to alleviate the amount of patients on trolleys according to Rita McInerney.

A candidate for Fianna Fáil in the next General Election, Rita has sought for University Hospital Limerick to be used in a pilot scheme. This would see patients transferred to private hospitals and nursing homes in Clare, Limerick and Galway if their extra beds would be made available over the next two months.

“University Hospital Limerick is one of the busiest and most overcrowded A&E’s in the country.  Everyone agrees that it is disgraceful that sick people, many elderly and disabled, are left on trolleys in the Emergency Departments, often for days on end. Now is the time to come up with meaningful solutions to the situation. The idea of the pilot scheme for the Mid-West region is to move those who no longer need acute hospital care to a more appropriate setting such as nursing homes or indeed private clinics or care facilities.  A deal on cost would have to be negotiated with these other facilities and hospitals to take appropriate cases where they have excess capacity,” she outlined in a statement to The Clare Echo.

She added, “Many people in Clare use the services of hospitals, homes and clinics in Limerick and Galway due to the easy access that the motorway provides. There are many facilities in the region such as the Galway Clinic, Ennis Hospital, private nursing homes, Barrington’s, St John’s and Croom Hospitals that may have additional capacity to take less urgent or stabilised cases. These could include conditions such as bone breaks, medical procedures, pneumonia, infections, to name but a few. It is all about ensuring that patients receive the best possible care in the shortest time-frame, this is simply not possible when there is a consistent lack of capacity with over-worked staff in our A&E.”

“We will never make the improvements that our citizens so desperately deserve in our health system until the trolley crisis is addressed. If we can find the extra capacity to alleviate the strain, we can ensure that no one is left waiting an inordinate period of time to be admitted into the hospital system. There are many health care professionals working on the front line with practical ideas on how our health care can be improved through relatively small changes in their working practices. It is time to stop talking and start making changes with the Mid-West an ideal case study to use as a pilot for the trolley crisis as a starting point,” the Doonbeg woman concluded.

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