The latest figures from the Irish Nurses' and Midwives' Organisation show that the number of patients waiting for a hospital bed is on the rise again.

The nurses' union, which represents members at hospitals like Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH), claims its new figures prove that the "crisis is not over".

A spokeswoman for the INMO said: "Today’s Trolley and Ward Watch report shows that 500 patients are waiting for an in-patient bed in hospital.

"Some 342 are waiting in emergency departments around the country, while 158 are inappropriately placed on already full wards.

"There are also three children waiting for a bed in Temple Street Hospital, Dublin.

"This figure is an increase on last Friday when there were 470 on trolleys, plus 13 children.

"University Hospital Limerick has the highest number today, with 66 patients waiting for a bed, followed by St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny with 42 and University Hospital Galway with 41."

INMO general secretar Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “As predicted the trolley figures are on the rise again following the bank holiday weekend.

"Hospitals are still in crisis and we are now calling on the HSE to continue curtailment of services to ensure figures do not escalate  again this week and to allow hospitals deal with the current high numbers.

"The INMO has sought confirmation that all  hospitals are adhering to the escalation policy and will be advising again re the health and safety obligations of the employer in situations where workplaces are overcrowded and pose risks to staff."

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