There were 608 patients without a bed in Irish hospitals on Tuesday, the highest daily figure recorded for the month of June since 2006, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
University Hospital Kerry had the highest number of patients on trolleys with 98, followed by Cork University Hospital which had 78 patients waiting for a bed.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO General Secretary, said emergency departments are currently like “pressure cookers” and warned that the HSE and Department of Health is in for a “very bleak autumn and winter” if the summer trolley crises is not tackled.
“Every passing day that we allow trolley numbers to continue to rise in summer is an acceptance that chronic overcrowding, sicker patients and burnout nurses and other healthcare workers are going to be the key features of our health service this winter.
“Our emergency departments are pressure cookers at the moment. The fact that Covid cases have increased by over 333 per cent hospitals in the space of three weeks coupled with long wait times to be admitted is a disaster waiting to happen.
“It is not normal that for fourth time this year we are seeing trolley numbers go over 600 at the end of June. There are actions that the HSE can take in the short, medium and long term to tackle this crisis including the immediate cancellation of non-urgent elective care and the reintroduction of Covid testing when a patient presents at the ED.
“The Emergency Taskforce must immediately convene. The HSE and Minister for Health cannot continue to ignore the importance of this body when it comes to tackling the root causes of the chaotic scenes we are seeing in emergency departments across the country.”