Numbers attending A&E at University Hosptial Limerick soar above daily trends

Attendances soar over the daily average at UHL

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Numbers attending A&E at University Hosptial Limerick soar above daily trends

University Hospital Limerick

OVERCROWDING at University Hospital Limerick was recently significantly higher than its 24-hour average, according to new figures received by the Limerick Leader.

Statistics issued by UL Hospitals Group, which operates UHL, show that there were 211 presentations at the Dooradoyle emergency department, last Monday, May 11, over a 24-hour period.

A spokesperson for the Group told this newspaper that the average attendance at the facility is normally 150 over 24 hours, from Monday to Friday.

The previous Saturday also saw attendances soar over the daily average, with 206 people presenting at the emergency department. 

In 14 days’ time, it is expected that the new emergency department will open its doors to the public, providing three times’ the space, with a myriad of advanced facilities, on top of some-90 extra frontline staff.

The spokesperson said that it “has long acknowledged that the emergency department at UHL is simply too small for the volumes of patients attending and is not fit-for-purpose.

“A new state-of-the-art emergency department, that will triple the size of the current department, is due to open at the end of this month. Once open, the experience of our ED patients will improve immeasurably in terms of comfort, privacy and dignity. It is being equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and designed to facilitate patient flow.”

The HSE has committed €1.4m to the new facility, as part of its service plan for 2017. However, the UL Hospitals has said in the past that, in order for the new A&E to operate, it will require a further €2.7m from the HSE. It is understood that this has yet to be secured.

But Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan has said that the Group’s chief executive, Colette Cowan, indicated at a previous meeting that the new emergency department will open even without the additional required funding.

Fine Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell has also been campaigning for the new facility to be opened this month.

The hospital group is also awaiting funding approval from the Department of Health for a new 96-bed unit at the Dooradoyle hospital. This will assist the acute bed deficit in the Mid-West region.