Elective surgery at University Hospital Galway has been deferred, as overcrowding in the emergency department again impacts on the running of the hospital.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has described the situation in the ED as catastrophic, with 34 people on trolleys awaiting admission.

Other patients seeking treatment face lengthy delays.

The hospital says all available bed capacity is being used.

All "non-urgent" surgery has been postponed and efforts are being made to discharge suitable patients from other wards, to try to ease the situation.

Management is working with private nursing homes to access places for discharged patients.

In a statement, the Saolta Hospital Group has advised people not to attend the emergency department unless absolutely necessary.