Overcrowding remains high at University Hospital Limerick


Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent


Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent



Overcrowding remains high at University Hospital Limerick

Site of the new A&E in Dooradoyle Picture: Michael Cowhey

OVERCROWDING at University Hospital Limerick’s emergency department remains high this Tuesday morning, with 30 patients being treated on trolleys and beds at the Dooradoyle facility. 

According to new figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 14 patients treated on trolleys in the A&E, and 16 patients on additional beds, trolleys or chairs in the wards. 

Though the rates remain above the national average this week, UHL does not have the worst overcrowding in the country. 

The A&E, which serves 400,000 people in the region, has the fifth highest rate of overcrowding in the country, behind Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar, Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda, and Letterkenny General Hospital which had 38 patients on trolleys. 

This Monday, members of the metropolitan district council raised concerns about the possibility of a fire hazard in the emergency department, following inspections by the Limerick Fire Service in recent months. 

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said: “UL Hospitals Group is engaging with the Fire Authority in Limerick on the management of patients within the emergency department. Every effort is being made to ensure compliance with the recommendations of the Fire Authority in this regard and this is continuously monitored.

“Regular fire safety training is provided to management and staff at UL Hospitals Group, including staff in the ED.

“UL Hospitals Group takes all matters of safety with the utmost seriousness and this includes having a robust fire safety management system in place for all of UHL, including the ED.”

A new emergency department at the campus is to be kitted-out by March this year, and opened sometime during the year.