Letterkenny University Hospital
There has been an increase in the number of patients awaiting admission to Letterkenny University Hospital overnight.
Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association (INMO) show there were 14 patients awaiting admission from the emergency department on Thursday morning, an increase from ten on Wednesday. Nine patients were on trolleys and five on wards.
Meanwhile at Sligo regional Hospital just four patients were awaiting beds. Nationally, 371 patients were waiting in beds this morning.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) said on Wednesday that it had implemented its full capacity protocol to deal with the pressure and efforts were being made to identify patients who could be discharged.
The hospital encouraged members of the public to attend the emergency department only in the case of “real emergencies” and contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.
The hospital apologised to all patients and their families for any distress caused as a result of these delays.
The overcrowding situation has been a regular problem at the hospital in recent weeks.
The increase in the overcrowding overnight followed a call from a Letterkenny member of the HSE’s Regional Health Forum West for decisive action to be taken.
Councillor Gerry Crawford said that those in responsible positions within the HSE "and above" need to implement a plan when such occasions arise.
"It has happened so often that a plan needs to be put in place to deal with this issue because whatever plan is in place is simply not working,” he said.
"Those in positions of authority in the HSE and above need to take decisive action."