THE University Hospital of Limerick (UHL) has confirmed that there will be additional funding to accommodate 25 new beds by November, in order to support activity in the emergency department in Dooradoyle.
A UL Hospital Groups spokesperson said that while it is looking to increase capacity at the emergency department, the extra beds will facilitate the hospital during the winter season.
While Sinn Féin Councillor Malachy McCreesh welcomed the additional funding, he said that there is a “staffing problem” in the Dooradoyle hospital.
“That [the additional beds] will only alleviate problems if the nurses and the appropriate doctors and staff are actually there to facilitate the staffing of those beds.
“They said they would be creating a centre of excellence at Dooradoyle, which is why they closed Nenagh and Ennis [emergency departments]. But the trolley figures in this area have been rising steadily, and as I said, the summer months should have a very reduced level with regard to problems at the accident and emergency in Dooradoyle, but we find that the June of this year is the worst ever,” the Regional Health Forum West delegate said.
He added that extra beds without extra staff will “create another situation”. He also said that there are concerns that there may be “slippage” regarding the target date of the new emergency department at UHL.
Cllr McCreesh said the new building has been “sitting there for years”.
However, a Groups spokesperson said that it is anticipated a public works contract for the new unit will be awarded later this month, and that the contractor will commence on site in September 2015.