The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said the overcrowding situation at Cork University Hospital (CUH) is “completely unacceptable”.
It comes as CUH recorded the second-highest number of people on trolleys across the country on Wednesday morning, breaking another overcrowding record at the hospital.
According to the latest INMO TrolleyWatch figures, there were 90 people on trolleys at CUH, 78 of whom were on trolleys at the hospital's emergency department (ED) and 12 of whom were waiting on trolleys in wards elsewhere in the hospital.
University Hospital Limerick (UHL) recorded the highest number of people on trolleys across the country, with 99 on trolleys at the hospital.
Elsewhere in Cork, there were 25 people on trolleys at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) and three people on trolleys at Bantry General Hospital (BGH).
Nationally, there were 635 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals on Wednesday morning.
Speaking about the number of people on trolleys on Wednesday morning, INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations for the Southern region, Colm Porter said:
Today we have seen yet another overcrowding record broken in Cork University Hospital with over 90 patients without a bed across the emergency department and other wards in the hospital. This is completely unacceptable.
“Our members in CUH are under constant significant pressure that is showing no signs of abating as the situation continues to get worse in their workplace.
“As the union representing nurses working across the hospital we continue to raise health and safety concerns with hospital management on a near daily basis.”
Mr Porter said there has been “no real or meaningful plan to support the CUH emergency department and its surrounds when it comes to increasing bed capacity” since the last time an overcrowding record was reached there in September 2022.
“Urgent engagement is required to ensure that discharge facilities are available in the community.
“It is clear that there must be a laser-like focus from both the South/South-West Hospital Group itself and the HSE nationally to tackling the scale of overcrowding in Cork University Hospital,” he said.
The South/South-West Hospital Group has been contacted by The Echo for comment.