The photo was posted on Twitter (Credit: Sue Nunn)
A photo has emerged online of four ambulances queuing outside St Luke's A&E in Kilkenny as there was no room in the hospital for the patients.
The picture was posted with the comments: "Ambulances wait outside [Emergency Department] ED at St Luke's Hospital Kilkenny yesterday (Thursday). No room in hospital for patients. Crisis!"
The Kilkenny People asked Ireland East Hospital Group, of which St Luke's is a member, to confirm the picture posted on social media as the overcrowding situation at the hospital worsens.
IEHG were asked for details on the photo and how long the patients were in the ambulances and what caused the delay.
In a statement, the group said: “St Luke’s General Hospital continues to experience an increase of patients presenting with a variety of complex medical needs.
“Presently Surgical 2 ward which has 30 beds is undergoing an essential maintenance upgrade. This work is scheduled for completion in the coming weeks which will improve bed capacity.
“The management and staff at St Luke's General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny regret any inconvenience and delay caused to patients while the building works are in progress.
“Fourteen (14) beds are now open in the renovated surge ward (Ward 7) and we continue to use the day ward for patients who normally would have been on Surgical 2 ward.
“We continue to ask for patients to contact their GP or CareDoc in the first instance.Management and staff are doing everything possible to reduce delays for patients waiting on bed spaces and ensure that patients who no longer requiring hospital care are discharged in a timely manner.”
Today's trolley and ward watch figures by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show that St Luke's Hospital has 30 people on trolleys and wards – which is one of the highest in the country.