FILE PIC: 57 people are on trolleys and wards today
There has been a challenging start to the new year at St Luke's General Hospital in Kilkenny, with the INMO reporting there are 57 patients on trolleys and wards today.
The figure is the highest in the country. There are 26 people on trolleys, and 31 on wards.
Last year was the worst year on record for Trolleywatch figures at the local hospital. While January saw very high figures, at no point did it surpass today's number.
Trolley Watch, which commenced in late 2004, relates to trolleys in Emergency Departments. Ward Watch is a count of the number of additional patients on beds, trolleys or chairs, on inpatient wards/units above the stated complement of that ward/unit and provides a picture of whole hospital overcrowding.
Meanwhile, visiting restrictions are in place at the Department of Psychiatry in the grounds of the hospital in a bid to curb suspected cases of Norovirus - the vomiting bug. The restrictions have been introduced in the interest of patient care and in order to curb the spread of the virus.
The public are asked not to attend the Department of Psychiatry for any reason. Anyone with any queries should ring 056-7785109. Visiting the Department of Psychiatry is strictly prohibited apart from in exceptional circumstances.
A statement from the Ireland East Hospital Group says that Carlow-Kilkenny/South Tipperary Mental Health Services regrets the inconvenience, but it is necessary at this time to prevent the spread of illness to both patients and staff at the Department of Psychiatry. Where appropriate, mobile phone contact between families should be considered.