There were record levels of overcrowding in hospitals including Letterkenny University Hospital in May, according to the Irish Nurses Midwives Organisation.

The latest analysis shows that there were 8,154 admitted patients on trolleys during this period.

The news comes despite April figures showing a marginal improvement.

Letterkenny University Hospital was not named as one of the most overcrowded, despite using their emergency protocol in the moth of May.

“This record level of overcrowding, showing a 23% increase when compared to 2016, is very disappointing coming at this time of year and after a marginal improvement in April," said Liam Doran, General Secretary of the INMO.

"The figures confirm yet again, that our health service remains far too small, to cater for demand, with this difficulty exacerbated by bed closures due to nursing staff shortages.”

“Due to nursing staff shortages, we now have both acute, and long-term, beds closed, in many areas, ranging from Donegal to Waterford. The figures reaffirm the extent of the crisis, arising from the recruitment/retention difficulties, in nursing, which must be addressed, through pay related initiatives, as an absolute priority. Until the shortage of nurses, is addressed, both beds and services will remain curtailed and trolley numbers will continue to grow.”

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