The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have launched an additional element to their existing Trolley and Ward Watch count. From today, Monday January 15, the INMO will now count and publish trolley figures for Ireland’s Children’s hospitals.
These hospitals are; Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, National Children’s Hospital Tallaght, Children’s University Hospital Temple Street. If Children are on trolleys in any of the regional hospitals this will also be recorded.
It is unfortunate that children are now regularly being admitted for hospital care without an inpatient bed. The presence of trolleys in paediatric hospitals is a new phenomenon and the INMO Children’s’ Nurses Section highlighted that these trolleys numbers have not previously been included in the count. The INMO Executive Council, at their October meeting, agreed to launch a Paediatric Trolley Watch count. The INMO have been monitoring the number of children on trolleys since November 2017.
The first two weeks of January 2018 has seen 73 of children on trolleys in the three paediatric hospitals. Speaking today, INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said:
”The negative outcome for patients arising from long trolley waits is proven and accepted. Exposing children to extended periods in an emergency department is unsatisfactory on many levels not least of which is the possible exposure to traumatic events. All systems, processes and procedures must aim to avoid unnecessary waiting times in EDs as a matter of urgency.”
Catherine Sheridan INMO Executive Council member and Children’s’ nurse said: ”Attending hospital is a fearful and anxious experience for children and their families, this can and must be kept to an absolute minimum. It is simply not acceptable to us, that environments that are totally unsuitable are added to this anxiety and fear.”
INMO President, Martina Harkin-Kelly said: ”It is vital that this Union puts the health and safety and timely care of all patients, particularly those most vulnerable in our society under to spotlight so as to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to provide safe, effective quality care. Therefore, is has been necessary to bring attention to this unfortunate development by expanding the Trolley Watch figures to include children. It is something we hoped would never arise and the sooner such practice ceases the better from the INMO point of view.”
The INMO Trolley Watch counts the number of patients for whom a decision to admit has been made, but who are still waiting for a bed at 8am. INMO Ward Watch records those patients moved to wards but still waiting for a bed.