ALL outpatient appointments will go ahead as planned this Monday across the UL Hospitals group, the hospital group had confirmed.
Appointments which were cancelled last Thursday and Friday due to Storm Emma are in the process of being rescheduled, with patients due to receive new appointment letters in the coming week.
“Our hospitals have been busy over the weekend, particularly the ED in UHL, and we expect that to continue over the coming days,” a spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said.
“We expect to see an increase in emergency department attendances and this is likely to result in delayed admissions and resultant increase in waiting times in our ED.”
The emergency depart this afternoon is exceptionally busy with high attendances & high numbers waiting for Beds @ULHospitals. We are in the recovery period now &expect it will take the week to address the needs of all. @FintanYTWalsh @LimLive95fm @CommHealthMW https://t.co/vYxbamWmq4— Colette Cowan (@colettecowan1) March 4, 2018
“The public are urged to consider all their care options at this time and not to attend the Emergency Department unless necessary.”
Urgent electives and day case surgery will go ahead as planned this Monday, March 5, but some non-urgent elective procedures will be curtailed over the coming days.
“All patients affected have been contacted and their appointments will be rescheduled,” the spokesperson said.
“Patients should only attend their appointments if it is safe for them to travel. For those unable to travel, we ask that they call the contact number on their appointment letter tomorrow to inform the hospital.”
“UL Hospitals would like to thank most sincerely staff who went over and above to continue to deliver patient care during some very challenging days. We would also like to acknowledge the support of National Ambulance Service, the Defence Forces, the Gardaí and Civil Defence and all voluntary organisations in assisting with emergency transportation of patients and staff.”
Injury Units, which can treat broken bones, dislocations, sprains, wounds and minor burns, are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John's Hospital.
Those with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or by an out of hours GP service.
“However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is calling for the first two weeks of March to be declared an emergency period in the Irish public health service.
The INMO says it is extremely concerned about the additional pressure on services following on from the past five days of emergency weather conditions.
All non-urgent and routine cases must be cancelled during this period to allow emergency care to be prioritised, according to INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha.
“We note and welcome the HSE statement that cancellations will be in place for all routine elective cases tomorrow, March 5. Unfortunately for the already overburdened health service this must be extended.”