Over 70,000 patients went without a bed in Irish hospitals in 2021, according to figures in the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s annual report.

The union has branded this year’s figures as an “unacceptable rise in overcrowding while we know this adds to the spread of COVID-19 in our hospitals”.

This comes as the INMO’s figures show an increase of 31% in patients on trolleys compared to the first year of the pandemic.

Galway University Hospital was the fourth most overcrowded facility last year at just over 5,000, with Sligo University Hospital in fifth place at over 4,200.

They were only surpassed by Limerick, Cork and Letterkenny University Hospitals, which had over 12,100, 7,400 and  5,700 patients awaiting beds in 2021 respectively.

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