Fine Gael Cork South Central TD and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has welcomed a 17% reduction nationally in the numbers of patients on trolleys in the first four months of 2012 compared with the same period last year. Deputy Buttimer attributed this result to the establishment of the special Delivery Unit as well as the dedication and hard work of hospital staff and management.
“That there has been a 17% reduction nationally in the number of patients on hospital trolleys is a welcome development. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has confirmed that the drop has been recorded across the first four months in 2012 when compared with the same period in 2011. Looking back to 2010, a 3% reduction has been recorded, signalling a significant improvement in trolley figures for last year.
“When the Minister for Health came to office he established the Special Delivery Unit, one of the aims of which was to reduce the number of people on hospital trolleys.  The figures from the INMO show that the combined efforts of Minister Reilly’s initiative and the dedication of hospital staff have yielded results.
“All staff working at every level within the hospital system deserve credit for this improvement.  Their dedication and commitment helps to deliver an essential service which is deeply appreciated by all who use the hospital system.
“The work of the INMO in maintaining figures on the use of hospital trolleys provides an insight into the efficiency of hospitals and the use of available resources.  This data enables direct comparisons so that we can see what initiatives are working and which practices need to be reviewed.  In regularly updating these figures the INMO is not only providing a service to its members but also to wider society.
“While there has been a significant national decrease in the number of patients on hospital trolleys, there may be local examples where the same reductions have not been delivered.  In such instances it is incumbent on the INMO, the Department for Health and hospital management to work together to deliver the same favourable outcomes that have been achieved nationally.”