University Hospital Limerick activates new winter season plan

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Colette Cowan CEO, UL Hospitals Group, during a briefing on the group's Winter Resilience Plan with TDs Patrick O'Donovan, Pat Breen, Joe Carey and Michael McNamara
THE UL Hospitals Group has launched a management plan for its emergency department in Dooradoyle, in order to reduce levels of overcrowding and people waiting to be treated during the winter season.

THE UL Hospitals Group has launched a management plan for its emergency department in Dooradoyle, in order to reduce levels of overcrowding and people waiting to be treated during the winter season.

Launched by the group’s CEO, Colette Cowan said that the new Winter Resilience Plan is a “whole system” approach that will aim to tackle a high overcrowding rate between now and January, which is said to be traditionally the busiest time of the year for the emergency department.

As part of the plan, it is expected that there will be 54 extra beds in comparison to the numbers of available beds at UHL now.

This will be made possible by the reopening of a 24-bed inpatient ward, and 25 extra beds next month, which will coincide with the new Leben building.

According to the plan, which has been presented to local TDs and councillors, the new beds at UHL will be supplemented by 124 newly-recruited staff.

Ms Cowan said that the Winter Resilience Plan will enable the hospital to respond to all challenges presented to staff at the hospital, in a “consistent and cohesive” way.

“We know from experience that the winter brings with it particular challenges for an acute hospital and we acknowledge that we will face many difficulties over the coming months to enable us to deliver timely care to our patients in an appropriate setting,” she said.

Additionally, there is an eight-bedded, five-day geriatric ward currently being developed, at St John’s Hospital.

For more on UHL’s plans for the winter season, pick up this weekend’s broadsheet edition of the Limerick Leader.