The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have called on the consultants in Portlaoise hospital to carry out extra rounds during the day to discharge patients and alleviate the overcrowding in the Emergency Department.
The number of people waiting in the ED for a hospital bed, peaked at 17 people last Wednesday, but remained in double figures all week.
The situation was worse in Tullamore and Mullingar when the number of people waiting on beds reached 24. Another ten people in Mullingar were waiting to be discharged.
A spokesperson for the INMO, Liz Curran, said there was no reason for the backlog in the ED.
“There are no beds closed in Portlaoise and there is nobody who is waiting on a bed in stepdown care.
“Anyone who is in the hospital needs to be there,” she said.
“It is unacceptable that anyone should be waiting in ED and we have called on management to carry out additional rounds during the day, so that anyone who is appropriately ready to go home can be discharged.”
Ms Curran said there was more demand on the public system since the downturn and people presenting to hospital were sicker and needed to be admitted.