INMO warns "unacceptable" number of children left on hospital trolleys

The INMO has for the first time started counting the number of children on hospital trolley

INMO warns "unacceptable" number of children left on hospital trolleys

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73 children were on trolleys at Ireland’s three paediatric hospitals in the first fortnight of the year.

It comes as today's figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) reveal there are 506 adults waiting for a bed.

For the first time the INMO is to begin counting the number of children on hospital trolleys.

This will include those waiting for a bed at the country’s three paediatric hospitals in Crumlin, Tallaght and Temple Street.

Children on trolleys at regional hospitals will also be included.

Catherine Sheridan from the National Children’s Nurses section of the INMO says it is an unacceptable situation:

“It also increases, I think, the worry levels for parents as well,” she said.

“Particularly when they maybe witness other families that are in with their children and possibly other children being maybe worse off than theirs or the very real thing of somebody coming that has had a very traumatic event happen to them.”

"It is really not the appropriate environment for a child to be there - other than the time that they should be there."

INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha says staff are at breaking point:

“Capacity has to increase,” she said. “Obviously, if we have more children requiring hospital care than there are beds for, then we need more beds.”

“In addition, every bed requires nursing services to be available in order to provide the care for the patient, children or adult in the bed.

“We know that last year, the turnaround and the numbers of nurses who left the service was very high and 70% resigned from their posts so we believe that has to be stopped.”

Today’s INMO figures show 507 people are on trolleys,

Reporting from Paul Quinn ...