The number of people waiting on trolleys in Cork University Hospital (CUH) has hit a record high, with 90 patients without a bed in the facility on Wednesday.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) published their latest figures on Wednesday morning, which shows that Cork is the second worst hit hospital in the country, followed by University Hospital Limerick (UHL) where a total of 99 patients are on trolleys.
A total of 635 patients are on trolleys across the country this morning, with 17 of those being under the age of 16.
This month's highest figure saw 709 patients on trolleys nationally on March 27. This was the third highest figure for the year so far, after 931 were waiting for beds on January 3 and 838 were on trolleys the following day.
INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations for the Southern region Colm Porter called Wednesday's numbers "unacceptable".
“Our members in CUH are under constant significant pressure that is showing no signs of abating as the situation continues to get worse in their workplace. As the union representing nurses working across the hospital we continue to raise health and safety concerns with hospital management on a near daily basis."
Mr Porter discussed the importance of developing a "meaningful plan" in order to support CUH's rising demands.
“Urgent engagement is required to ensure that discharge facilities are available in the community."
“It is clear that there must be a laser-like focus from both the South/South-West Hospital Group itself and the HSE nationally to tackling the scale of overcrowding in Cork University Hospital," he added.
A spokesperson for CUH said: "Cork University Hospital wishes to apologise to all patients who continue to be affected by long waiting periods at the hospital's Emergency Department. The hospital has a long-standing challenge with acute inpatient bed capacity on site.
"This unfortunately has resulted in a large number of patients having to endure lengthy waiting times in the Emergency Department awaiting admission.
"Staff work very hard to provide ongoing safe care to all patients who await admission. CUH is working with HSE colleagues regionally and nationally to address this."