National study: Portiuncula under most pressure due to lack of beds

A national study has revealed that Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe has the most pressurised Emergency Department in the country due to the lack of available beds.
The anaylsis of available beds across the country shows that there was just an average of eight beds in Portiuncula Hospital for every patient on a trolley last month. Patients in Tullamore were 27 times more likely to get a bed than those in Ballinasloe.
Commenting on the figures, local TD Denis Naughten said that smaller hospitals and staff were under most pressure.
“Even University Hospital Limerick with record trolley numbers was under less severe pressure than Portiuncula Hospital, due to the fact that there were nine beds in Limerick for every patient on a trolley,” he said.
“If we delve down into the numbers of patients waiting on trolleys to date in 2023 and analyse this as a percentage of the number of beds available in each hospital, we get a much better indication of the pressure that each hospital was under last month.
“The reason this is important is because while I have no doubt the HSE will put the hospitals with the big numbers at the top of their agenda, it is feared that the smaller hospitals under the most pressure will be ignored because this is what has happened up to now”.
Deputy Naughten said that Portiuncula Hospital put a proposal to the HSE and Department of Health three years ago to provide a modular extension to the Emergency Department in a bid to ease overcrowding.
“To date, no decision has been made on this proposal because clearly it is not high enough up the HSE agenda,” he said.
“Other hospitals have put forward simple measures to deal with the challenges that they are facing, which would not only ease pressure on our hospital system but ensure that patients get safer and more timely care”.