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Overcrowding crisis worsens with 500 patients on trolleys

The hospital overcrowding crisis has worsened this week with more than 500 patients lying on trolleys waiting for a proper bed.

The Irish Nurses' and Midwives' Organisation (INMO) said its daily head count found 375 people in emergency units and another 131 crammed into wards already at capacity.

Once again the university hospitals in Cork and Limerick were the worst in the country with a total of 44 patients admitted but waiting access to a proper bed on a ward.

Other hospitals with more than 30 people on trolleys or in beds or chairs on corridors included St Vincent's in Dublin and South Tipperary General.

While the scale of overcrowding is well below that experienced early last week when more than 600 people were recorded by the INMO, the numbers confirm fears of the union that the crisis would worsen again this week.

Under the Health Service Executive's winter plan targets, the number of patients on trolleys on a single day should not be more than 236.

University Hospital Limerick said it had cancelled elective surgeries this week in order to ease pressures on space and resources.

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