THERE has been a dramatic drop in the queue for emergency treatment at Naas General Hospital.
In the recent days the number of patients on trolleys at the facility has remained in low single digits.
Figures provided by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation – which has lobbied against bed closures and cutbacks in Naas – show that there were just four patients on trolleys yesterday (January 30).
This was less than major treatment units in Dublin such as the Mater, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, St. James’ Hospital and Tallaght Hospital.
On Friday last there were 3 patients waiting on trolleys while on Thursday there were 2 and none at all on Wednesday (January 25).
According the Health Service Executive the hospital management are implementing a framework to provide acute medical services.
A spokeswoman Arlene Crean told the Leader that it will have “a significant impact on the flow of patients into the hospital system, the speed at which they are assessed by a senior clinical decision maker, whether through an Emergency Department or Medical Assessment Unit, and are then treated and or admitted.”
During 2011 the hospital had approximately 24,490 attendances at the Emergency Department in 2011 and this was influenced by severe weather conditions between November 2010 to March 2011 which resulted in greater demand for treatment as a results of falls, accidents and chest complaints.
Throughout 2011 there was also an increase in patients because of flu outbreaks.
She said the hospital also has a policy for dealing with surges in activity, which include increasing the number of clinical ward rounds being undertaken to ensure that any patients who can go home are discharged and supported as necessary by community based care services.
Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, said there has a been 178 trolley bound patients over January 3-25 – a drop of 58% when compared to the figures for the same period last year. Attributing the fall to initiatives established by Health Minister James Reilly, he said they are producing improvements to how hospitals manage the inflow of patients, particularly at peak times of the year.
“It is providing tailored guidance to hospitals on how to cope with, and reduce, overcrowding in emergency departments,” he said. Deputy Lawlor also said the total number of people waiting on trolleys in hospitals across the country for the first 16 days of January 2012 was 27% lower than last year. He added the aim is to ensure that 95% of patients will be discharged or admitted within six hours of registration at an emergency department.