The number of patients waiting for a bed at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny is currently the third-highest in the country, according to the latest data from the INMO (Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation).
There were 42 patients recorded on trolleys in the local hospital this morning, with 23 in the Emergency Department and 19 in other wards.
University Hospital Limerick topped the list for trolley patients, with 91 people still waiting for a bed.
On a national level, 544 patients were recorded on trolleys today and 1,042 patients are currently in hospital with Covid-19.
In response to today's figures, the INMO has again warned that high numbers of patients in our hospitals without a bed is having a significantly negative impact on the ability to provide timely and safe care.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha has issued the following statement on the matter:
"The fact that we have 544 patients on trolleys today and over 1,042 patients in hospitals with COVID-19 almost two years to the day that the virus first reached our shores is a recipe for disaster. If our past experience of COVID and high numbers of patients on trolleys has taught us anything, we will be seeing the impacts of this on our health system for many weeks to come.
"INMO members have been sounding the alarm on the rise of trolley numbers since mid-summer, and we also urged caution on the removal of mandatory mask wearing in public spaces. We are heading into what is traditionally an extremely busy week in our Emergency Departments and last week we set out in detail what is needed now from Government at the Oireachtas committee. Furthermore, we met with the Minister for Health last Thursday evening and ED nurses from units around the country set out in detail the dangers presented for patients in overcrowded hospitals right now. There should be no doubt at this stage as to the negative effects of overcrowding.
"The HSE and political system have a responsibility to the exhausted workforce to ensure their workplaces are safe. There must be no tolerance for hospital overcrowding while a highly transmissible airborne virus is making its way around our hospitals. Improvements to air quality in our hospitals must be a priority.
"If non-emergency services need to be curtailed in order to allow the HSE and hospital groups to get a handle on out-of-control trolley figures and COVID cases within the hospital system then that must be done."
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