NURSES have expressed serious concern over "dangerous levels" of overcrowding in Tallaght Hospital, and say they are gravely worried about quality of patient care.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) says the overcrowding is so bad that patients are being "inappropriately" put in wards on trolleys on a daily basis.
Their concern comes in the wake of recent revelations by the Herald of a 30pc increase in overcrowding at hospital emergency departments since the beginning of this year.
INMO industrial relations officer Derek Reilly warns: "Our members in the Emergency Department are unanimous in their belief that the ED in Tallaght Hospital is unsafe and unable to provide adequate patient care.
"Nurses on the wards are equally frustrated and concerned at continuing overcrowding on wards which makes it unsafe for all the patients on the ward."
The INMO has met with management in Tallaght Hospital on a number of occasions over the past few weeks and has told the management team they will hold the hospital board responsible "for any untoward event that occurs to patients within the hospital".
Nurses say the overcrowding is not just in the Emergency Department but persists throughout the hospital.
The INMO has now called on the board of the hospital to "prioritise patient care over all other matters".