There were 467 patients being treated on trolleys in Ireland’s hospitals this morning, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) figures have revealed.

The union warned that hospitals were returning to pre-pandemic levels of overcrowding. Last week the INMO issued their monthly trolley analysis which showed that it was the second worst ever September for overcrowding in Ireland.

The INMO is calling for “a detailed winter plan” as flu season approaches and for action to be taken to keep patients and staff safe.

The most overcrowded hospitals in Ireland today are:

  • University Hospital Limerick — 79
  • Cork University Hospital — 50
  • University Hospital Galway — 48
  • Letterkenny University Hospital — 45
  • Sligo University Hospital — 39

INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “This is a very dangerous situation. Not only is it putting our members and their patients at significant risk of Covid infection, but it is placing an extraordinary burden on a workforce that is completely exhausted.

“Letting overcrowding escalate over the coming months, as we have seen happen year after year, is going to lead to very poor outcomes for patients at a critical time in the pandemic.

“We need to see government coming forward in the coming days with concrete plans for keeping hospitals safe for patients and staff for the coming winter. That means a detailed Winter Plan from the HSE that includes increased capacity in the community. Next week’s Budget must include plans for substantial investment in homecare packages.”