CORK University Hospital (CUH) was the second most overcrowded hospital in the State last month, as new figures show 8,101 patients on trolleys nationally in September.
New figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show a record number of patients admitted on trolleys in wards or Emergency Departments during September.
In the first nine months of the year, 73,556 patients have been admitted nationally on trolleys, a 7% increase from last year.
This figure also represents a 132% increase from ten years ago when the overcrowding situation was declared a national emergency, according to the INMO.
INMO general secretary Liam Doran said: “It is quite clear that, in many hospitals, the daily situation is beyond breaking point with patients left without dignity and privacy.
“Furthermore, due to the failure to employ additional staff, consistent with an agreed dependency tool and best practice, the care of those patients is being compromised,” Mr Doran added.
CUH admitted 628 patients on trolleys last month, an additional 171 patients more than in August.
Yesterday, CUH was the second most overcrowded hospital in the country, with 42 patients waiting for treatment on trolleys or wards. According to the INMO, the HSE committed to employ an additional 123 nurses nationally to look after admitted patients. However, to date, only 17 of these posts are currently in place.
The INMO has now sought an emergency meeting with the HSE and the Department of Health.
“The purpose will be to bring forward a range of emergency actions, which must include the provision of additional financial resources, and staffing, to ease the crisis as we enter the late autumn-winter period.”
The INMO is calling for HIQA to carry out inspections of all hospitals with high levels of overcrowding, to examine patient safety and welfare which are being severely compromised on a daily basis. The INMO is also calling on the Health and Safety Authority to immediately carry out unannounced inspections to determine whether employers have breached their statutory obligation to maintain a safe place of work for their staff.