The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine notes that 430 admitted inpatients patients were boarded on trolleys in Emergency Departments (EDs) this sunny summer morning.
There have been over 500,0000 attendances at EDs so far this year and it is likely that by year end that number will overtake the 1,246,110 attendances of 2017.
In 2017 there were 337,854 admissions to hospital from EDs. These are the patients that needed hospital beds last year, most waiting prolonged periods for access to, too few beds. The number needing a hospital bed will be bigger again this year.
The HSE figures tell us that so far in 2018, 36% of patients spent more than 6 hours in an ED. The target is 10%. Hardly any acute hospital ever meets it.
The Bed Capacity Report has detailed the thousands more hospital beds Ireland needs. At the very least several hundred new beds must be opened and staffed by September. We need enough staff and beds to ensure the elective care is not decimated again this year by the competing pressure of emergency admissions.
If not we are facing into another appalling year for patients needing acute inpatient care.
The country and its leaders have been distracted by other health related problems but the need for Emergency Care and lack of inpatient beds has not gone away. Where and when are the new hospital beds opening and are they staffed?