There has been a further climb in trolley figures this morning, with Cork University Hospital (CUH) continuing to record the most amount of patients waiting for beds.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said 385 admitted patients are waiting for beds in Irish hospitals today.
Of these patients, 310 are waiting in the Emergency Department (ED), while 75 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital.
In total, there are 49 people waiting for beds at the ED in CUH.
Elsewhere in Cork, there are 24 patients without beds in the ED at Mercy University Hospital - an increase of eight people on yesterday.
University Hospital Limerick and University Hospital Galway are the second and third most overcrowded hospitals in the country this morning, with 44 and 31 patients respectively on trolleys.
Yesterday the INMO said trolley figures were the highest they have been since the pandemic began.
A total of 381 admitted patients were without beds in Irish hospitals yesterday morning.
Commenting yesterday, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said Ireland’s health service is “rapidly swinging from a Covid crisis back into an overcrowding crisis”.
“Our members cannot withstand the pressures of overcrowding twinned with the pressure of another wave of Covid,” she said.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha added that if things continue along the current trajectory, patients and staff will find themselves in “a dire situation”.
A Consultant in Emergency Medicine at CUH yesterday toldthat the hospital is working “at full throttle” trying to provide care to an “unprecedented numbers of patients”.
Clinical Lead, Major Trauma Audit and Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Professor Conor Deasy said there is “intense pressure” on inpatient ward beds at the hospital.
“Before the pandemic, CUH needed additional bed capacity; now we need an even greater uplift in bed capacity because people who are being admitted are sicker and more de-conditioned.
“There is also a requirement to catch up on operations, clinics and diagnostic investigations that were postponed during the pandemic.
“These factors are resulting in patients waiting prolonged lengths of time for a ward bed in our Emergency Department (ED),” he said.
Prof Deasy said it is now critical staffing levels at the hospital are increased.
“To open a bed on a ward you need space and you need staff, in particular nursing staff.
“Now more than ever, we need staff to join the team here at CUH in providing care to the sick and vulnerable during these extraordinary times."