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Overcrowding, delays, cross infection: Review reveals emergency department issues

Patients in nine hospitals in Ireland were often treated in the wrong places, sometimes corridors, in situations where it was “unclear” who was supposed to be providing their care, a clinical review has found.

It warned of the potential for people to receive inappropriate specialist input and recommended specific wards be used to avoid so-called “safari rounds” where consultants must seek out scattered patients.

The independent review team consisted of clinical and management experts from Scotland and England who undertook a programme of visits between August and November, 2019.

“The review team witnessed widespread boarding and outliers – any bed, anytime, anywhere and including mixed gender,” the document said.

“This does not create extra capacity, leads to safari rounds, increases length of stay, introduces harm by non-specialist care and increases staff absenteeism.”

Although acknowledging often excellent work by staff, the report was commissioned to examine non-scheduled care at nine hospitals found to be “under the greatest pressures” during the winter season of 2018/2019. These had “significant numbers” of patients waiting for long periods on trolleys.

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Source: The Irish Times, 4 April 2022


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