The number of patients on hospital trolleys has increased by 50 since yesterday.

According to the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation, there are 563 patients on hospital trolleys across the country today - up from 513 yesterday.

Limerick University Hospital is again the most overcrowded with 64 patients waiting for a bed, followed by Galway and Cork University Hospitals - both with 44 patients on trolleys.

There are 33 patients waiting for a bed today at Sligo University Hospital and 7 at Mayo University Hospital.

Meanwhile the number of patients taking up beds on a long-term basis at Galway University Hospital who no longer need that level of medical care needs to be tackled, according to a local Councillor.

There are currently 37 patients at University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park Hospital who have been there for over two months - but only 14 of these are receiving active medical care.

Galway-based Fianna Fail Councillor Donagh Killilea questioned HSE management on the issue of bed-blockers at yesterday's meeting of the HSE West Regional Forum.

Councillor Killilea says the figure provided by the HSE include long-term care applicants waiting to move to other health facilities, as well as homeless people.

He believes the HSE and Galway City Council can do more to find alternative accommodation for these patients, and free up beds for patients on trolleys.

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