A FULL escalation policy has been implemented at a Cork hospital which has experienced severe overcrowding in recent days.
Almost 80 patients have been left on trolleys at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) in the past three days and management has implemented the hospitals’ full escalation policy.
The emergency policy involves the opening of extra beds at the hospital and, where possible, the purchasing of beds in private hospitals.
A spokesperson told The Echo that the Mercy is currently experiencing a high volume of very ill, high dependency patients presenting at its Emergency Department (ED) needing admission to the hospital.
“The hospital’s full escalation policy has been implemented and all beds including extra surgical beds are open to deal with the demand,” he said.
“Where possible, MUH is buying capacity in private hospitals to treat some patients.
“People presenting at the emergency department are advised that there may be long delays due to the high volumes,” he added.
The Echo understands that a lack of capacity in Cork, in terms of both inpatient beds and step-down facilities, is a concern for workers in the sector.
Thirty-two patients were left on trolleys at MUH on Tuesday, the highest the hospital has seen so far this year.
In January, more than 430 patients were left on trolleys waiting for hospital beds at MUH, including 100 in the first full week, compared to around 280 during the same period last year.
Last month, MUH saw its trolley figures reach more than 27 on five separate occasions.
Almost 1,700 patients were left waiting on trolleys and in wards for hospital beds across Cork in January.
Trolley figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show that 1,680 patients were left waiting for hospital beds across three Cork hospitals in the past month.
More than 1,100 were left on trolleys or in wards in Cork University Hospital, while a further 431 awaited beds in the Mercy along with more than 142 in Bantry General.