Hospital bosses deny claims of manipulating trolley figures

University Hospital Limerick

MANAGEMENT at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has refuted claims that nurses were told to adjust the trolley watch figures compiled on a daily basis by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO)

Nurses at the hospital have said that a direction not to include patients in single-room-occupancy in the count is “whitewashing the trolley figures”.

But the hospital says they have a different means of reporting data which they record three times a day.

A hospital spokesman told the Limerick Post that the “daily TrolleyWatch Report is published by the INMO and is not a matter for UL Hospitals Group.

The changes in how our data has been reported since August 12 reflect the reconfiguration of our emergency department as part of our response to Covid-19. These changes are also consistent with the national agreement from 2013 on how data is reported.

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“Three of the zones in the emergency department are designated for patients in the Covid-19/query Covid pathway. As the emergency department is equipped with state-of-the-art single rooms and cubicles – and because we are challenged on isolation facilities around the hospital – it is an appropriate environment for suspect Covid-19 cases requiring single-room isolation pending a swab result or clinical decision.

“No patient will be moved to a ward until such time as all the necessary precautions have been taken. It is essential that these measures remain in place to minimise the risk to patient and staff safety.

“In addition, admitted patients in single rooms or cubicles in the emergency department are considered to be in an appropriate bed space. We have placed a number of beds in cubicles for the greater comfort of frail and elderly patients in the emergency department.

“While using additional surge capacity is not the optimal solution, it provides more comfort and dignity and an improved patient experience for those who unfortunately do wait. We regret that any patient has to wait for a bed and they continue to receive expert care while they do wait,” the spokesman concluded.