Galway trolley crisis grows ever deeper


There were almost 4,500 people left waiting on trolleys and chairs at University Hospital Galway and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe in the first six months of this year.

Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation – which records the ‘Trolley and Ward Watch’ numbers at every public hospital in the country – show that between January and the end of June, there were 3,800 patients on trolleys or chairs at UHG.

That figure is up 9% on the same half-year period for last year, when it stood at 3,486.

In Portiuncula, there were 691 patients on trolleys in the first six months of 2018, down a massive 43% from 1,210 in the first half of 2017.

Trolley Watch is based on Emergency Department admissions who are left waiting on trolleys and includes ‘Ward Watch’ (those on trolleys or chairs in wards in excess of that ward’s capacity).

For June alone, there were 501 patients on trolleys in UHG (down 11.5% from 566 in June 2017), while there were 99 in Portiuncula (up 11% from 89 for the same month last year).

Meanwhile, new fears have been raised over the future of Portiuncula itself after the revelation that ambulance staff have been instructed to by-pass the hospital’s emergency department for trauma patients

Roscommon/Galway Deputy Eugene Murphy, who has obtained documents which he said reveal that the HSE has introduced a new protocol.

And he claimed that the move was an effective downgrading of services at Portiuncula – heightening fears for the hospital’s future.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.