With the highest number of patients on trolleys since the pandemic began, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for bespoke plans to tackle overcrowding in each hospital.
This comes as 534 patients have been recorded on the INMO Trolley Watch (see here).
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Today’s figures are a real nightmare before Christmas scenario. We need to see urgent mitigation measures from individual hospitals and the HSE to tackle the number of people on trolleys.
“The warning signs that trolleys would go over five hundred once again have been very obvious. This is a predictable event.
“Overcrowded hospitals reduce the ability to deliver safe care. With this pandemic it is even more important that the HSE take all necessary steps to avoid the overcrowded wards and emergency departments becoming the source of infection.
“We are once again calling for a fully-funded workforce plan, and adequate health and safety measures including enhanced ventilation in our hospitals.
"The public service is under too much pressure to be expected to shoulder the entire burden of the pandemic alongside rising numbers of patients presenting at emergency departments. The HSE must seek full utilisation of private hospitals.
“Our members are mentally and physically exhausted. They cannot head into yet another pandemic winter with trolley numbers out of control while the pandemic continues.
“Decisive action and bespoke plans to tackle overcrowding, particularly in hospitals where we see persistent overcrowding is needed.”