It is “impossible not to be upset” by the sight of so many patients being made to wait on trolleys, the interim CEO of the HSE has said.
Yesterday, there were 497 patients on trolleys according to the IMNO - down from a record 931 last week - and Stephen Mulveany said his visits to hospitals across the country were personally challenging.
“In some of the worst situations you see patients lined up on trolleys very, very close together [and] it’s very for the patients,” he told Newstalk.
“It’s very, very difficult and challenging for the staff, it’s impossible to stand over.
“It’s definitely variable and where it’s really bad, it is impossible not to be upset by it.”
Officials had long expected that this winter would be a tough one for staff across the country but Mr Mulvaney said it was worse than most had expected.
“Currently, we’re matching or exceeding our most pessimistic model,” he said.
“Which, as we said before, is very concerning.
“Flu is already at levels that make this an exceptional season. Plus, we still have significantly high levels of COVID and RSV.
“Week 1 - which is up to 7th January 2023 - confirms that the flu continues to rise.
“So, we can’t say yet when it will peak but it will be a number of weeks before it peaks potentially.”
Main image: Apatient on a trolley to the Emergency Department in the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie