Carer describes ‘crazy’ conditions at Cork University Hospital A&E

A carer has highlighted the chaotic scenes in the Emergency Department (ED) at Cork University Hospital, describing how a vulnerable person spent more than two days on a trolley.

CUH has had 300 patients waiting on beds since the turn of the year.

Carer Finbarr Murray, from Ballincollig, arrived at CUH on Saturday with the person he cares for, who required medical attention. The patient spent more than two days on a trolley before getting a bed.

Finbarr said: “The conditions are terrible, unfortunately, but the staff are doing the best they can.

“Something definitely has to be done, it was mental in there. The weekend was very, very bad. Conditions were crazy.”

Mr Murray praised the staff for their commitment and support.

“They’re just run off their feet,” he said. “More staff and beds are needed. It’s not fair to see elderly people on trolleys and in corridors waiting days for a bed.”

Meanwhile, Gerry Shine, a regular visitor to CUH with his wife, who has hip problems, also highlighted the problems.

“I dread it every time she gets sick. I absolutely dread coming up here because you know you’re in for the long haul,” he said. “The staff are brilliant but there’s only so much they can do.”

My wife has hip problems, terrible pain, and she could be waiting 17 hours to be seen but that’s not the staff’s fault. It’s the system’s fault, not the staff.

“It’s chock-a-block in there most of the time with no beds available.

“You just can’t get sick, it’s scary coming in.”

Nurses and midwives across Ireland are set to hold a strike on January 30, with further days of action planned in February if their issues are not addressed.

The strike will see the INMO members withdraw their labour for a 24-hour period over issues such as low wages and failure in terms of recruitment and retention by the HSE.

“The nurses are great and they deserve to be paid whatever they’re looking for,” added Mr Murray.

They’re under terrible pressure in there and I don’t blame them for striking.

Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show that 38 patients were awaiting a bed in Cork University Hospital today.

CUH has been one of the most overcrowded hospitals in Ireland since the beginning of the year and has seen around 300 patients waiting on trolleys and on wards for a bed.

With specialists warning of an increase in the flu in coming weeks, CUH introduced visiting restrictions on Tuesday.

Twenty patients tested positive for the flu at CUH this week after two were hospitalised with a strain of swine flu last week.

This story originally appeared in the Evening Echo