Overcrowding and the level of patients waiting for a bed in Irish hospitals has reached record levels in June, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

Almost 10,000 patients went without a bed in Irish hospitals last month.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha has told RTÉ's News at One that patients are suffering from a lack of dignity and are more at risk due to the level of overcrowding.

The INMO said around 9,961 patients were waiting for a bed in the worst June on record since it began collating figures in 2006.

The worst affected hospitals last month include University Hospital Limerick with 1,829 admitted patients waiting for a bed, Cork University Hospital with 1,059 patients, University Hospital Galway with 828 patients, St Vincent's University Hospital Dublin with 706 patients and Sligo University Hospital with 612 patients.

Today's Trolley Watch figures show 424 patients were waiting for beds this morning.

Of those, 362 people were waiting in emergency departments, while 62 were in other wards.

She said: "It has been a June like we have never seen in Irish hospitals with out-of-control hospital overcrowding coupled with rising Covid hospitalisations.

"In 16 years of counting trolleys, we've never seen June figures higher than the preceding January.

"Nurses are constantly raising the dangers associated with overcrowding in their workplaces, however the figures for the month of June are out of control and a stark warning of what is to come for the autumn and winter period, considering none of the mitigation measures necessary are being implemented.

"This level of overcrowding warrants senior HSE and government attention, it is not OK and it is not safe."

The INMO has called on the Health Service Executive to take urgent action, including publishing the numbers of healthcare staff getting infected with Covid at work, a practice which ended in December 2021.

"Right now staff are saying they are under pressure on wards due to high volumes, but staffing levels aren't correct to begin with," she said.

It also recommended reinstating on-site Covid testing for all patients on arrival to emergency departments to "reduce unnecessary and regular movement of patients once they become symptomatic".

The INMO has also urged Government to re-introduce mask wearing in crowded public spaces and to fully implement the HIQA recommendations in University Hospital Limerick.

It also wants to convene the Emergency Department Taskforce "as a matter of urgency to ensure there is independent oversight in relation to the implementation of recommendations".

It comes as more than 800 people are in hospital with Covid-19 for the first time since April.

As of 8am, there were 812 patients with the virus in hospital - up 14 on the same time yesterday.

With the rising cost of living, Ms Ní Sheaghdha said that the INMO did not believe that the Government's offer in recent pay talks was sufficient to be put to members.

She said that the Workplace Relations Commission have also been notified that unions met this week, and the position hasn't changed but they are available for talks if the Government change their offer.