52 patients treated on trolleys in overcrowded UHL

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

52 patients treated on trolleys in overcrowded UHL

University Hospital Limerick: overcrowding has reached peak levels

THE EMERGENCY department at University Hospital Limerick is experiencing one of its worst levels of overcrowding in almost two years this Wednesday. 

According to figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 52 patients being treated on A&E trolleys, and on additional ward trolleys, beds or chairs, as of this Wednesday morning.

Earlier this week, as a response to consistently high levels of overcrowding over the past week, UL Hospitals Group issued a statement regarding the extremly busy department. 

"University Hospital Limerick has been experiencing a high volume of patients attending the hospital over a number of days. This is leading to significant delays accessing beds through the Emergency Department, resulting in excessive wait times for patients.

"The public are reminded to keep the Emergency Department for emergencies only and to contact their GP or GP Out of Hours services in the first instance. Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm at St. John's Hospital. Injury Units treat a range of minor injuries including sprains, strains, broken bones, minor burns and dislocations and a GP referral is not required," the spokesperson stated. 

University Hospital Limerick had the highest rate of overcrowding in the month of August, with more than 600 patients treated on trolleys. This matched winter levels of overcrowding at UHL. 

A new A&E in Dooradoyle, three times the size of its current one, is due to open in six months.