Summer brought little relief from A&E gridlock
Patients continued to endure trolley gridlock over the summer, with overcrowding up 40pc last month compared to August 2014.
Some 6,518 patients who needed a bed were left on trolleys last month and the overcrowding is only going to get worse, according to the latest analysis by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
The grim figures come as moves get underway to hold a meeting of the emergency department task force implemenation group, which was supposed to deliver improvements several months ago.
The hospitals which suffered most with high trolley counts in August were:
l Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda: 680
l Beaumont Hospital, Dublin: 678
l Limerick Regional: 618
l Galway Hospital: 458
l Cork University Hospital: 399
l Tallaght Hospital, Dublin: 395
Liam Doran of the nurses' union said this is the 14th month in a row when, year on year, the level of overcrowding has deepened, with patient care compromised on a daily basis as a result.
Nurses are tired of being told the situation is getting better and will meet next week to prepare a response, he said.
Reacting to the figures Health Minister Leo Varadkar said: "There has substantial investment since the start of the year to alleviate overcrowding.
"We have a thousand more staff working in the public health service than last year and €74m has been provided for the Fair Deal Nursing Home Scheme and additional community beds across the country including Moorehall in Drogheda and Mount Carmel in Dublin.
"This has freed up 300 acute beds in our hospitals. It is clear, however, that additional staff, beds and finance has not yet reduced overcrowding.
"I will be reconvening the emergency department taskforce implementation group shortly to discuss what more can be done," he added.