The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisations (INMO) has described the current hospital overcrowding situation as “out of control”.
It comes as a Cork hospital has warned members of the public needing less urgent treatment to avail, where possible, of other care services as emergency departments (EDs) continue to experience high demand for services.
On Wednesday, there were 107 patients waiting on trolleys across Cork hospitals, according to the INMO’s TrolleyWatch figures.
At Cork University Hospital (CUH), there were 57 patients on trolleys at the ED and a further 17 patients on trolleys in wards elsewhere at the hospital.
At the Mercy University Hospital (MUH), there were 21 patients on trolleys in the ED and at Bantry General Hospital (BGH) there were 12 patients on trolleys in wards.
Speaking about the current situation, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “It is clear that hospital overcrowding is out of control once again. The level of overcrowding in some of our emergency departments warrants a national response.
“The INMO has been in contact with the new Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive seeking an urgent meeting in the next 24 hours ahead of what will be an extremely busy bank holiday weekend for our members.
It is clear that the system is now completely overwhelmed. We need targeted measures to tackle this crisis, particularly in the Midwest where the overcrowding is completely out of hand.
A spokesperson for MUH told The Echo on Wednesday that the hospital is still experiencing high attendance at its ED, along with outbreaks of winter vomiting, which is resulting in high trolley numbers and delays.
“We have fully implemented our Escalation Policy and are reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis in partnership with CHO and SSWHG (South/South West Hospital Group),” the spokesperson said.
It comes as the hospital issued a statement on Monday afternoon advising people that while the ED remains open 24/7, that patients “are and will continue to experience delays”.
The hospital has appealed to members of the public needing less urgent treatment to avail, where possible, of other care services.
The South/South West Hospital Group has been contacted by The Echo for comment.