Trauma Care Creating Backlog At Midlands Hospital

The Offaly hospital says elective surgical services are 'essentially non-existent' in the region.

A midlands patient is unable to have elective surgery due to Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore being 'inundated with trauma cases' for the past three months.

Laois Offaly Independent TD Carol Nolan says one of her constituents urgently needs the procedure.

In response to queries from Deputy Nolan, the hospital says it doesn't have the capacity or the capability to do any elective cases, due to a lack of beds to accommodate those seeking a routine hip or knee replacement.

It says the beds are entirely occupied with trauma and acute unscheduled care.

In the letter, it suggested Deputy Nolan should liaise with her political colleagues to push for elective surgical services in Tullamore.

The hospital did have an elective ward when it was built, but it says that's no longer the case as it has to accommodate emergencies, which have increased by over a third year-on-year.

It says surgical services of such nature are essentially non-existent in the midlands.

Laois Offaly Independent TD Carol Nolan campaigned on behalf of the patient, and says Health Minister Stephen Donnelly needs to step in:

In a statement to Midlands 103, Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore says the hospital has seen a '25% general increase in ED attendances in 2024 so far and a 29% increase on attendances of people aged over 75 years compared to the same period last year.  

As a result of this, its ED has been under significant pressure over recent weeks.

In order to ensure that our service users get the treatment which they require, additional surge bed capacity in-house  and use of Urgent Emergency Care contracted private hospital beds are being utilised to manage urgent and emergency care demands.  

However, scheduled care activity has been impacted as a result of this increased demand.

Despite the challenges that the hospital currently faces with regards to increased demand. MRHT have made significant progress to address hospital waiting lists in 2023.

2023 is the second year in row that hospital waiting lists fell.

•             15% reduction (2,020 fewer patients) waiting for an outpatient appointment at Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore (MRHT).

•             1,425 fewer patients (86% reduction) waiting over 12 months for an outpatient appointment at MRHT.

•             11% reduction (150 fewer patients) waiting for an inpatient/day-case procedure at MRHT.'

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