More than 800 patients were left waiting for a bed at Cork University Hospital in the worst April on record for overcrowding, it has been revealed.
Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show that 10,229 admitted patients were forced to wait without hospital beds in April 2019.
This is the highest ever number of patients on trolleys in April, an 8% increase on April last year and a 125% increase on April 2006, when figures began.
Among the 10,229 patients were 106 children.
The worst-affected hospitals last month were University Hospital Limerick with 1,206 patients followed by CUH with 826 patients.
“This is the second month in 2019 where over 10,000 patients have been forced to wait without a bed,” said INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha.
“The crisis is without question worsening.
“Overcrowding hits two main groups directly: those who depend on public health services and those who work in them, providing the safest care they can in these conditions,” she added.
“We started the trolley count over a decade ago because of unacceptable overcrowding.
“The problem has more than doubled since then.” April 1 saw a status black issued at CUH which meant the hospital was at maximum capacity and deemed unsafe to admit further patients.
One consultant told The Echo the situation was the worst he had ever seen.
That night saw up to eight ambulances lined up outside the hospital, with one waiting more than four hours to release a patient into the hospital’s care.