The Health Service Executive says it’s committed to taking steps to tackle overcrowding at Naas Hospital.
It says care will be prioritised for those who need it most and whilst waits in the hospital’s emergency are regrettable, measures are being taken and the hospital “has experienced peaks in attendance throughout this year.”
Nurses representatives said there has been an 8% increase in hospital overcrowding nationally when July 2014 is compared with July 2013.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said that wards are also regularly overcrowded.
The figures suggest that Government-announced initiatives to reduce waiting times at hospitals, including Naas, have not succeeded
There were initial successes with Dep. Anthony Lawlor pointing out that the number of people awaiting treatment on trolleys in Naas Hospital had halved between January 2011 and January 2013 (555 people to 267).
Although there have been some alarming increases in the level of overcrowding at five hospitals in July, Naas is not among them.
Nevertheless the figure increased from 146 in July 2013 to 169 in July 2014 - while there was an actual reduction in these figures at Tallaght Hospital. The INMO says overcrowding is unacceptable and leaves patients without dignity and privacy and causes excessive workloads on already overstretched frontline staff. INMO general secretary Liam Doran says additional funding is needed immediately.
The HSE said Naas Hospital regrets the inconvenience that waiting for admission can cause for patients. Spokeswoman Arlene Crean said: “We wish to assure patients that staff are endeavouring to minimise the inconvenience that may arise.” She also said Naas has a standardised policy for dealing with “surges in activity”.