CORK University Hospital (CUH) says it is continually reviewing patient flow within the hospital in the hope of alleviating pressure on the Emergency Department (ED).
CUH has witnessed some of the most severe conditions in its history in recent days, with one consultant saying it was the worst he had ever seen.
A status black escalation was issued at CUH on Monday, which means the hospital was at maximum capacity and deemed unsafe to admit further patients.
More than 200 patients have been awaiting beds at CUH since Monday.
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.
One patient, who was in the ED on Friday night and again on Monday morning, described it as mad.
“On Friday evening, an 83-year-old woman came in in a wheelchair and she was left sitting there facing the wall for 12 hours before she was seen,” he told The Echo.
“I was in on Friday for 12 or 13 hours but it wasn’t too bad for me on Monday; I was seen in about four hours because they knew me from Friday.
“Every single seat was taken, the whole place was backed up outside the door.
You could see the amount of ambulances backed up, the corridor was full of emergency services working on people,” he said.
“It was mayhem.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A spokesperson confirmed to The Echo that both Minister Simon Harris and Minister Jim Daly held a teleconference call with CUH management and Cork Kerry community healthcare this week to discuss the situation.
A spokesperson for Cork University Hospital told The Echo: “Cork University Hospital is continually reviewing patient flow to assist with alleviating pressure on the ED.”
The have been calls in recent years for a new hospital in Cork because pressure on CUH is now at acute levels.
The centralisation of acute care at CUH over the past 20 years has been added pressure on the CUH and when a flood of admissions arrive, as happened this week, the system struggles to keep up.