A hospital which has suffered some of the worst overcrowding this year is to close one of its wards for refurbishment.
Beaumont Hospital in Dublin will have to close St Damien's ward from April to October.
It is to allow for it to be upgraded to improve facilities for patients undergoing renal transplants. There are currently 59 elderly patients in the hospital awaiting long-term care either with a home care package or in a nursing home.
A number of its long-stay patients are accommodated in this ward.
The 59 patients are accommodated on a number of wards in the hospital including St Damien's ward, said a spokeswoman.
Beaumont hospital is actively engaging with the HSE to ensure that patients are discharged to these facilities in the shortest possible timeframe.
When the ward closes for the upgrade work to begin, staff will be redeployed to other areas of the hospital, she added.