Two hospitals in Connacht had the highest numbers of patients on trolleys this month.

Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation shows that over 9,437 patients were admitted to hospital without a bed in June.

That includes 70 children.

University Hospital Limerick continues to be the most overcrowded hospital in the country with 1,666 patients on trolleys.

University Hospital Galway was the second worst affected with 1,051 patients without a bed.

Cork University Hospital came in third place (824) with Sligo University Hospital in fourth with 617 patients on trolleys.

Reacting to the figures, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:

“The fact that over 9,437 people were treated on trolleys in June is clear evidence that our health system is still far too reliant on a hospital system that that doesn’t have enough beds.

“The Government must prioritise investment in building and scaling up capacity to meet this demand.

“This can only be done by increasing bed capacity and also employing nurses to staff these beds.

“The HSE’s recruitment freeze is making it harder to provide safe and timely care as it is becoming more difficult to fill rosters when staffing is so short.

“Our members want to be able to provide safe care to patients but also be assured that their own safety in the workplace is being guaranteed — neither are guaranteed when they are working in overcrowded conditions with unsafe staffing levels.

“The development of community services is critical to reducing the pressure on the hospital system.

“The recruitment embargo is making it impossible to fill posts in the community and therefore having a direct impact on the ability to provide care outside of the hospital system.

“The recruitment freeze is own goal after own goal.

“The INMO is consulting with our members who work in the community on the impact the recruitment freeze is having on them.

“We are now urgently seeking that the HSE reengage with the INMO at the Workplace Relations Commission on their staffing plan for 2024, which still hasn’t been published at the mid-point of the year."

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