There are 506 patients on trolleys in emergency departments or on wards today waiting for admission to a bed, according to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

The figures show there are 375 patients waiting on trolleys in emergency departments.

Worst affected are University Hospital Limerick and Cork University Hospital, each with 44 patients waiting.

On 3 January, a record 612 patients were on trolleys on hospitals around the country.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said at the time that the health service is facing a "challenging time".

Under a Health Service Executive target, the number of patients on trolleys on any given day should not exceed 236.