Worse to come as trolleys 'pile up'
Hospitals suffered more "trolley pile-ups" yesterday as nearly 500 patients endured hours waiting for admission to a ward.
Many of the 477 patients were frail and elderly and needing treatment for respiratory and heart complaints.
Beaumont Hospital in north Dublin was worst hit with 49 people on trolleys, most of them in its emergency department.
Connolly Hospital in Blancardstown in Dublin was also under severe pressure as staff struggled to care for 32 patients on trolleys across the emergency unit and wards.
Patients in other hospitals including University Hospital Galway, Tullamore Hospital, Mayo General and Portlaoise Hospital were also enduring the effects of the surge.
Cuts to the nursing home budget this year will lead to more overcrowding in hospital emergency departments in the coming months, it is claimed.
Tadhg Daly, chief executive of Nursing Home Ireland, predicted that hospital overcrowding will worsen this year because of cuts to the nursing home budget.
He said between 939 to 1,702 elderly people will lose out on a nursing home bed, forcing many of them to remain in acute hospitals instead.
The HSE has blamed the influx the bad weather as well as the tendency of people to delay seeking medical help until after the festivities.