Speaking amid reports that adult patients have been moved into beds on a children’s ward in Tallaght Hospital, local TD and Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD said that “it is really not acceptable in any way”.
She said: “While all solutions must be explored in trying to stabilise the trolley crisis and reduce the overcrowding, it is really not acceptable to move adult patients into beds on a children’s ward.
“Management at Tallaght Hospital took the move due to what they are calling an ‘unprecedented’ rise in numbers turning up to its Emergency Department.
“While this is described as being a temporary measure, it is still wholly unacceptable that eight beds on a children’s ward now have adult patients in them.
“Children and adult patients are separated for good reason, least of all because paediatric medicine is a separate discipline to adult medicine.
“The HSE charter on children’s hospital care stipulates that children and young people ‘…shall be treated with dignity and respect, tact and understanding at all times’ and that ‘the protection of the privacy of children and young people shall be secured at all times’.
“I severely doubt if sharing a specialised children’s ward with adult patients constitutes dignity, respect, or privacy for children and their families.
“So far, the response to the trolley crisis has been to move patients to private hospitals and into beds on children’s wards. While all solutions must be explored in trying to stabilise the trolley crisis, moving adult patients into beds on a children’s ward is unacceptable.
“Minister Harris has said ‘no effort or resource is being spared to improve the situation’ in the health service. He needs to immediately come forward with the funding to reopen all closed beds at Tallaght and every other hospital in the state and ensure that adult patients are not put into beds in children’s wards.”