There are 621 patients waiting on trolleys in Ireland’s hospitals today.
On Monday and Tuesday this week, 760 people were on trolleys each day, the highest number since records began.
While today’s figures are higher than any day in January 2019, the INMO says extra bed capacity sourced from the private and voluntary sector is behind the improvement on this week’s record highs.
The HSE's own figures also show hospital overcrowding has reduced today, but unlike the INMO's Trolley Watch, the HSE figures do not give the number of patients on wards who are waiting for admission for a bed.
Its TrolleyGar report finds there are 421 patients on trolleys waiting for a bed this morning.
"The intolerable pressure placed on frontline staff and patients continues," said INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha.
"The trolley crisis is not a fact of life. There are simple, accepted solutions to fix it. We’ve made real progress in Beaumont and Drogheda hospitals, which were often the most overcrowded until recent years. This is down to planned additional recruitment and planned extra capacity. This model has to be adopted nationally.
"We need to keep moving to resolve this crisis. The INMO has proposed a five-point plan to alleviate pressure. All of these actions could be taken today or by the end of the week at the latest."
"We’re calling for a major incident declaration, all available capacity in the worst-hit hospitals directed to emergency cases, and immediate end to the recruitment freeze which is starving the health service of staff," Ms Ní Sheaghdha added.
"Beyond this immediate crisis, it’s clear that we need to get to safe staffing levels. Irish trials of the Safe Staffing Framework show that it reduces costs, saves lives, reduces length of stay and improves patient and staff experience. But it needs up-front investment and for the recruitment pause to be scrapped."