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January 30, 2012

58% reduction in Naas trolleys a huge improvement

Anthony Lawlor Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, has said that the number of people waiting on trolleys in Naas General Hospital has been reduced by 58%, thanks to initiatives undertaken by the Special Delivery Unit (SDU) over the winter months.

“Between January 3rd and 25th of this year, there was a total of 178 people waiting on trolleys at Naas General Hospital, which is a significant drop of 58% compared to the figures for the same period last year, which saw 425 people waiting on trolleys.

“While having 178 people waiting on trolleys over a three week period is still too many, a decrease of 58 per cent on last year means we are moving in the right direction. The SDU, which was established by Minister James Reilly last June, is producing tangible improvements in how hospitals provide care and manage the inflow of patients, particularly at peak times of year. It is providing tailored guidance to hospitals on how to cope with, and reduce, overcrowding in emergency departments.

“The work of the SDU is being carried out in the context of a severely restricted Budgetary situation. But these figures show that radical reform can be delivered in a very challenging environment. These encouraging local figures have been replicated at a national level; the total number of people waiting on trolleys in hospitals across the country for the first 16 days of January 2012 was 27% lower than the same period last year.

“Further progress is being made when it comes to scheduled care. Ninety-five per cent of hospitals have met the target of ensuring no patient is waiting more than 12 months for elective surgery. This accounts for 41 hospitals; the figure for 2010 was just 28 hospitals.

“The success of the SDU to date will be further built on over the coming year, with more ambitious targets than before. It will aim to ensure that 95% of patients will be discharged or admitted within six hours of registration at an emergency department. We also want to ensure no one is waiting more than nine months for planned surgery and further targets will be set to improve access to outpatient and diagnostic services.

“I’d like to thank the hospital management and staff of Naas General Hospital for their tremendous hard work and dedication over the last 12 months which delivered such impressive results. It is important that we continue to work together and further improve on these figures.”