'Unprecedented levels' of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

'Unprecedented levels' of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick

University Hospital Limerick: overcrowing at unprecedented levels

THERE were unprecedented levels of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick's emergency department this week, weekly union reports show. 

According to Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 220 patients being treated on trolleys in the A&E and on additional trolleys or beds in the wards, between Monday morning and Friday morning. 

On Thursday, there were 43 patients on trolleys; 52 on Wednesday; 43 on Tuesday; 37 on Monday; and 45 on Friday. 

Following these high figures, the Minister for Health Simon Harris will "shortly" visit the A&E, at the request of his party colleague, Senator Kieran O'Donnell. 

Earlier last 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. 

According to monthly reports, UHL had the most overcrowded A&E in Ireland in August, with more than 600 patients being treated on trolleys.