The hospital trolley crisis worsened today as 583 patients across the country were forced to wait for a bed.
The new high for 2019 follows yesterday’s surge in overcrowding with 541 patients on trolleys.
The turnaround follows efforts to keep overcrowding under control in the aftermath of Christmas and the New Year.
This led to the daily trolley toll being kept under 400 but the pressures on hospitals are now escalating.
But normal activity is being resumed which means there are less beds available to the very sick patients who need to be on a ward.
The figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation comes as the union is et to announce a series of dates for planned 24-hour stoppages in pursuit of pay.
If they go ahead the action will bring more chaos to the struggling hospital service.
There 398 waiting in emergency department, while 185 are in wards elsewhere in the hospital. The INMO is due to announce strike dates this afternoon at 3.30pm regarding safe staffing levels in the health service.
The worst-hit hospitals today are:
Cork University Hospital - 61
Letterkenny University Hospital - 43
University Hospital Limerick - 43