Mullingar hospital is severely overcrowded and under continuous pressure, according to a top official with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
In recent days, the HSE has issued appeals to people not to attend the emergency department there unless they’re seriously ill as it struggles to cope.
Yesterday there were 29 patients on trolleys, with that number dropping to 16 today.
Tony Fitzpatrick, the director of industrial relations with the INMO, says that the hospital has ten extra beds adjacent to the emergency department that can’t be opened because of what he describes as ‘a grave shortage’ of nurses.
Mr Fitzpatrick said that through the month of November, there were 449 patients in Mullingar who spent time on trolleys waiting for a bed.