1 in every 6 patients waited over 24 hours for hospital bed

UHG

Galway City Tribune – One in six patients at University Hospital Galway waited more than 24 hours in the Emergency Department to be admitted to a ward, according to a nationwide survey published this week.

And the research – based on a survey of 942 patients over a four-week period – has found that fourteen patients were left languishing in the Emergency Department for more than 48 hours.

However, the National Patient Experience Survey also found that 85% of patients reported a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ overall experience, just over the national average of 84%. The survey was carried among all patients aged over 16 discharged from Galway University Hospitals (both UHG and Merlin Park) after a minimum stay of 24 hours in the month of May.

A total of 1,878 people discharged were invited to take part in the survey and 942 people completed it. The survey was carried out by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

From the Emergency Department at UHG, 159 respondents (32%) said they were admitted to a ward within six hours of arriving; 256 (51%) waited between six and 24 hours; 84 (17%) said they waited 24 hours or more before being admitted. Fourteen of those said they waited more than 24 hours.

The HSE has set out targets for Emergency Departments including that 75% of people attending should be discharged or admitted to a ward within six hours, and none should wait longer than nine hours. For people over the age of 75, that HSE target increases to 95%. Separate figures from the Irish Nurses and midwives’ Organisation (INMO) show that in the month of May, 637 patients were recorded on trolleys or chairs in the Emergency Department at UHG.
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