Number on trolleys has reached highest level in over a year

A nurses union says the situation in public hospitals has become “extremely dangerous” due to “out of control” overcrowding.

It comes as the number of people on trolleys reached its highest level in over a year this week.

603 people were waiting for a bed nationally on Tuesday, that dropped slightly to 584 yesterday.

The HSE will give an update on its winter plan and the hospital situation later today.

General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, says providing safe care is now a huge challenge.

“In many of our hospitals it is reported now that nurses are trying to provide care to patients ‘two up’ in a cubicle, in other words a cubicle that is designed for one person, has two.

“In the middle of an infectious variant such as Omicron, this is extremely dangerous.

“We have had the fire safety officer in some of the units, we have felt it is so unsafe.

“It is out of control.”

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