Visiting ban introduced at University Hospital Limerick due to Covid-19 outbreak

UHL had the worst level of overcrowding in 2017 in Ireland with 8,889 patients being treated on trolleys at ED

Four inpatient wards at UHL have been impacted by the current Covid-19 outbreak

VISTING restrictions have been extended to all inpatient wards at University Hospital Limerick due to an outbreak of Covid-19.

Efforts are continuing to manage the outbreak, which is currently affecting four wards at the UHL - up from two when the initial outbreak was first reported last month.

"As a precautionary measure, and following a meeting of the Hospital Crisis Management Team this Tuesday, visiting restrictions have now been extended to all inpatient ward," said a spokesperson for UHL.

Restrictions on visits to the Emergency Department, Acute Surgical Assessment Unit, and Acute Medical Assessment Unit at UHL also remain in force.

"We regret any inconvenience this ban on routine visiting causes for patients and their loved ones. Our outbreak control team is reviewing the situation daily and hospital management has decided it is now necessary to impose these measures in the interests of patient safety and keeping essential services open for all our patients," added the spokesperson.

Noreen Spillane, Chief Operations Officer at UL Hospitals Group, said: “We know these strict visiting restrictions are difficult on patients but they are now necessary as we look to reduce footfall at UHL and reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. We have the highest number of Covid-positive inpatients in the country at present and we continue to experience a surge in emergency presentations."

Ms Spillane says the focus is currently on managing the outbreak and protecting patient pathways for those who need emergency care as well as patients scheduled to come in for surgery, for diagnostic investigations and for outpatient appointments, "many of whom have already faced delayed access to care due to the pandemic.”

UL Hospitals says it is continuing to follow its escalation plan, which includes additional ward rounds, accelerating discharges and identifying patients for transfer to its Model 2 hospitals.

Surge capacity has been opened at UHL, Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals to meet the current demand and scheduled care remains under review.

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