More than 60 patients are waiting for beds at Cork University Hospital today, the second day in a row the hospital has seen the highest trolley count.
Yesterday saw 59 patients awaiting beds at the hospital.
Cork hospital staff are on the verge of burnout due to “relentless” overcrowding, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
The union said that HSE policies continue to hinder recruitment and impact services ahead of a busy winter period.
Liam Conway, INMO Industrial Relations Officer for Cork, cited a lack of bed capacity across CUH and Cork as well as staff shortages in the region as a factor of the high overcrowding levels.
“We’re very concerned that the significant overcrowding in Cork hospitals, along with vacancies, particularly in emergency departments, will see services curtailed in the coming months,” he told The Echo.
Mr Conway said HSE recruitment policies are leaving CUH understaffed as it faces into one of the most challenging periods the hospital is ever likely to experience.
“Every post that is vacant needs approval at national level which is tying the hands of local management and hindering recruitment.
“This needs to change.
“If there is no significant recruitment in the next four weeks, there will be huge difficulties in terms of staffing between now and Christmas.” Mr Conway also called for a review into bed capacity and staffing at CUH and across Cork, as well as increased investment ahead of the winter period.
“Staff morale is extremely low and there is fierce concern in relation to staffing deficits,” said Mr Conway.
“Staff are working short, there is incredible pressure in the system.
“The volume of patients has been relentless throughout the summer and staff are close to burnout, if they haven’t burnt out already, across the service,” he added.