University Hospital Limerick issues alert to patients as overcrowding soars

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent


Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent


University Hospital Limerick issues alert to patients as overcrowding soars

According the INMO there are 55 people waiting for beds at UHL this Tuesday

THE UL Hospitals Group has urged patients to only attend the emergency department in the event of an emergency, as University Hospital Limerick tackles massive overcrowding this Tuesday afternoon. 

According to new figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 55 patients treated on ED trolleys and additional trolleys or beds in the wards at UHL. 

It is dramatically the highest rate of overcrowding in the country, ahead of University Hospital Galway, which was dealing with 30 patients on trolleys this Tuesday morning. 

Monthly figures published by the INMO this Monday show that UHL endured the worst level of overcrowding in August, with 835 patients on trolleys. This was also the highest in the country. 

This comes after work stoppages by a number of agency locum doctors in a number of emergency departments around the country this week. 

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group confirmed this Tuesday that the emergency department is “unaffected” by the dispute. 

“While the ED at UHL is unaffected by this dispute, the department is very busy this Tuesday and patients are reminded to keep the ED for emergencies only and to contact their GP or GP out-of-hours services in the first instance,” he stated. 

However, St John’s Hospital’s injury unit has been affected by the dispute. Though it remains open, patients “may experience longer waits than usual. 

“The injury unit in St John’s is staffed by a consultant-led teams of doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses, radiographers and physiotherapists all operating within the clinical governance structures of UL Hospitals Group. The Group has taken measures to ensure the unit will have a  sufficient complement of medical staff available from Wednesday, September 6th.”

The local injury unit is open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm. 

“No other service within UL Hospitals Group is affected by this issue concerning agency doctors.”