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Warnings as 368 patients now on hospital trolleys

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Sleeping on a hospital trolley

Sleeping on a hospital trolley

Sleeping on a hospital trolley

Irish emergency departments face "unprecedented pressure" over the coming six weeks as they battle to adhere to the Government's strict over-crowding protocols, it has been warned.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) confirmed that a total of 368 patients were on emergency department and ward trolleys across the country yesterday.

However, the number on trolleys in Irish emergency departments - 277 - is already almost 18pc above the Health Service Executive (HSE) maximum target of 236 for any single 24-hour period.

Both the INMO and opposition health officials warned that the peak winter hospitals admissions period over the first two weeks of January is still to come.

Demand

Out-of-hours GP cover services also confirmed record patient demand over Christmas - with a wait in some cases of more than two hours just for nurse call-backs.

The 368 figure does not include full totals from six Irish hospitals, which were unable to supply complete data.

The INMO 'trolley watch' figures showed the greatest number of patients on trolleys were in the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise (35), South Tipperary General Hospital (35), Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore (30), Letterkenny General Hospital (23), Portiuncula Hospital (20), Mercy University Hospital (18) and St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin (17).

All other major Dublin hospitals had lower figures, with Beaumont, the Mater and Naas General each with 15 patients on trolleys in emergency departments.

Cork University Hospital - one of Ireland's main acute hospitals - had 11 patients on ED trolleys.


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