Cork University Hospital (CUH) had the second highest number of patients on trolleys for the month of October, according to figures released today by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
In total, there were 685 people waiting for beds at CUH in October.
University Hospital Limerick had the highest figure at 1,064.
According to the INMO, the number of people waiting for hospital beds nationally in October was 4,499 - more than nine times higher than in April.
Noting that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) reported earlier this year that over 32% of Covid-19 infections were among nurses, the union has called for plans to combat overcrowding, which allow for increased staffing in the context of high numbers of healthcare worker infections.
"We were told at the beginning of this pandemic that there would be a zero tolerance policy toward overcrowding across the health service, to ensure hospitals were safe.
"Unfortunately, we’re now seeing an average of 200 patients per day without beds, and the figures are climbing," said INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha.
"This is highly dangerous at the best of times, but this year we simply cannot afford to accept this level of risk, for patients or for staff.
"We are over a month into the winter period and we’re seeing 4,500 patients per month on trolleys.
"We’re very concerned about how this will play out for the rest of the winter.
"We desperately need safe staffing levels across the entire service this winter if we want to keep staff and patients safe," she continued.
Today, there is a total of 22 people waiting for beds in Cork Hospitals; 21 of those are in CUH and one is in Mercy University Hospital (MUH).