Horror wait for a bed in Tallaght Hospital

Friday the 13th is considered to be a very unlucky day. On Friday 13th January 2017 that suspicion came a realitly when a sister of mine slipped in the icy and snowy conditions near her home. Having to depend on two kind strangers to help her up again my sister knew there was some damage to her arm. She phoned for an ambulance at around 11.15 am and half an hour later she had to phone them again to cancel it as she made her way to her doctors surgery.

The doctor confirmed to my sister that there was indeed damage and he suspected maybe her wrist was broken. The doctor decided to call for an ambulance and he phoned for one at around 12. Pm. One and a half hours later and another two calls later at 1.30 Pm the ambulance arrived and took over. They brought her to Tallaght Hospital some 15 or so minutes away. She arrived in A+E a little to 2. Pm and took a seat in the waiting room. The triage nurse called her in looked at her arm and gave her a sling to keep the arm up. She then went back out to the waiting room.

At about 4.Pm she was called into the area where the cubicle are. She was given a cubicle and doctors began the task of looking at her arm and having an X-Ray done.  At about 4.Pm the doctors who at this stage confirmed that her wrist was fractured not once but twice. She was brought into a room and the doctors put her hand in cast. She was informed she would have to stay in as she would need to have surgery the day after to correct these fractures.

10 hours later at 2.am she was taken out of the A+E Cubicle and was taken upstairs to what she thought was a ward. She was informed that for the surgery to go ahead as planned she would need a bed to recover. Only when she went up stairs she was left on a corridor up beside the wards. She was left there for another staggering 15 hours on that trolley in the corridor for all to see only to be informed that the surgery was cancelled and would she mind holding on and staying an extra night.

Having already been in the hospital for over 24 hours on a trolley, fasting, and now they want her to stay another day on the trolley as no beds where available. She had no privacy she felt very hurt that people in this day and age could be treated like this in Ireland today.

The reason her surgery was cancelled was not because there where no surgeons or doctors around it was because there where no beds available for her. While she had to wait on a trolley in a public corridor for all the passing world to see at the end there was no light for her in the tunnel.

My sister who at this stage gave up and signed herself out. She was in very bad pain and could not use her arm at all she had to actually give up and go home after it was confirmed that there was a chance if she did stay another day they may not be able to guarantee that she would be brought down for her surgery as the bed problem is getting worse.


Health Minister Simon Harris only less than 2 weeks ago told the media that the overcrowding in all our hospitals was now easing off and this over crowding was due to a heavy outbreak of a influenza.

Well if this is the case how come now patients on hospital trolleys are now been taken out of A+E and put up on to public wards on the trolleys is this seeing as an upgrade from A+E ?

Perhaps what we can’t see in A+E we are all under an illusion that this problem has not gone away but is been hidden.

No matter what way one looks at this our hospitals are failing, this is not the nurses or the doctors fault they are doing their very best to do their job going. And to be  honest its them who has to face the music when it goes wrong, I mean is the director or the board sitting in A+E when all this overcrowding is going on?

A nurse on the ward told me that this is an every day problem patients are been left on trolleys on the wards corridors after been taken from A+E. He stressed that its becoming an all to familiar site and even by his own admission its not right.

My sister was promised that an appointment would be made in two weeks for her to continue her surgery.

In 2016 we heard of the word hidden homeless a lot are we going to be hearing the words hidden overcrowding now?

Are we seeing hidden overcrowding now?

According to the head of the HSE, Tony O’Brien that they would need €9.bn to correct all the problems we see in our hospitals today.

I was given a hospital spokesperson name who looks after the press and press releases but had no phone number and as hard as I looked I could not get this person.


While my sister lay on the trolley that was assigned to her I took out my camera and took a half shot of her excluding her face. What happened next you could not even think of it to put it into a script. A security personal came over to us and demanded that I don’t take anymore photo’s I was putting away my camera when he also demanded that I deleted the image and show him. I refused before I knew it there was least three security guards making the same demands. I asked them what the problem was they informed me it was against the hospital policy to have photographs taken in the hospital.

My sister informed the security that I had her permission to take the photo which was only of her. They would not let it drop I still refused to delete the image. I informed the security I was press he spat out this reply by shouting and looking offended he shouted at me your not press.

At no point during this heated argument did any of the security guards or anyone else ask me for an I.D.

My sister and I went back in to family room that we where previously using. The security informed me that they were calling the Gardai if I didn’t hand over my camera I still refused and sure enough the Gardai arrived. I was still siting in the room when two members of the Gardai came in. I explained the sticky situation and after a little chat I tried to put back the memory card in to my camera that I had taken out in case my camera was snatched from me. I put the card in the wrong way and it got stuck.

A nurse came in and lent me a scissors and after a few attempts I got it free put it in to the camera and showed the Gardai the image I took. The image I took is this story’s picture. The Gardai asked for my I.D I showed it to them they informed me I would have to leave the hospital with them in which I did once outside after having to walk out with the Gardai we went separate ways.

After all the fuss I left the hospital with the image if you can see anything worrying in the image please let me know.

Image Credit: Alan Finn.


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