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Increase in patients on trolleys

The number of patients on trolleys in Dublin hospitals has rocketed, a new survey claims.

The Irish Nurses’ Organisation (INO) said the amount of people without a bed in the first two weeks of December was 89% higher than the same period of 2006.

It also claims 365 people were forced to lie on trolleys at one point on Tuesday.

The group is now seeking an urgent meeting of the Accident & Emergency Forum, which comprises the Health Service Executive (HSE) and unions.

INO general secretary Liam Doran said: “The figures are most disappointing and will be a source of serious concern to patients, their relatives and friends, and the nursing and other support staff.

“One of the most disappointing aspects of this development is that it was entirely predictable the moment the HSE imposed cutbacks and restrictions upon the very measures which have been brought forward, by agreement, in the past 12 to 18 months to alleviate A&E overcrowding.”

But an HSE spokesman said: “The HSE is absolutely committed to continuing to reduce waiting times and numbers within Emergency Departments (ED).

“This commitment is clearly visible in the establishment of the Winter Initiative in 2006 which provides a combined community and hospital focus to ED improvements.”

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