Updated: 03/01/18 : 12:26:25
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Patients waiting on trolleys hits new high for second day running

The number of people on hospital trolleys has reached a new national record high.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says 677 patients are waiting for beds today, that figure is up on yesterday's of 656 patients on trolleys and overflow areas of wards.

St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny is the most overcrowded today with 54 people without a bed.

Liam Woods of the HSE says the flu epidemic has put the system under huge pressure, particularly since Monday.

He said: "What we are experiencing at the moment across all sites is very high attendance numbers, that's particularly the case in the past couple of days.

"The system actually managed quite well through until New Year's Day, and from then was under a lot of strain.

"There are some hospitals that are coming out of that quicker, that's not all about performance though, it's a factor of available nursing home space in the community and transition in the community are key factors."