6,000 people over age of 75 waiting at least a day for hospital treatment in emergency departments

And figures are set to almost double by winter

There are almost 6,000 people over the age of 75 that have been forced to wait over a day for treatment in hospital emergency departments this year.

And Fianna Fail's Health spokesman Billy Kelleher has said he is "shocked and appalled" at the revelation.

The HSE’s Service Plan for 2017 set a target that all emergency department attendees aged 75 years and over would be dis-charged or admitted within 24 hours of registration.

But the figures show 5,880 have waited for over 24 hours this year already and Mr Kelleher warned that number could reach 10,000 by winter.

He slammed the failure to meet the target as “pathetic” and said the 24 hour turnaround time had “set the bar too low”.

The TD added: “International research suggests there is an increase in adverse outcomes for patients who have been in an ED for more than four to six hours.

“A 2012 HIQA report recommended the total patient time spent in the emergency department should be less than six hours. This time should be measured from the time the patient arrives in the ED to the time of departure from the ED. The fact remains that the acute hospital budget is completely inadequate to meet patient demand.

“The continuing crisis is having a knock-on effect on waiting lists for scheduled treatment.

“Yesterday the INMO reported more than 400 on trolleys nationwide. The omens for the winter are not good and if the trend continues some 10,000 older people over 75 will have endured a wait of more than 24 hours in an ED before the year is out.”

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy yesterday claimed lives are being put at risk by the failure to meet ambulance turnaround targets.

Statistics revealed 21% of ambulance visits to University Hospital Galway exceeded an hour.

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