UL Hospitals Group regrets 'distress or inconvenience' caused to waiting patients

Alan Owens

Reporter:

A spokesperson said that the new emergency department has seen a high number of patients presenting over the weekend

A spokesperson said that the new emergency department has seen a high number of patients presenting over the weekend

THE UL Hospitals Group has said it regrets that patients are facing long waits to access its emergency department at University Hospital Limerick this Monday and "any distress or inconvenience" that this may cause.

It comes as Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) figures show that there were 62 patients being treated on trolleys in UHL this Monday.

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said the emergency department (ED) at UHL had "seen a high number of patients presenting over the weekend which has resulted in high numbers waiting in the ED.

It said that as of 1pm this Monday, there are 20 patients in the ED who are waiting to access a bed.

"There is an extraordinary high number of patients presenting requiring isolation and they are appropriately allocated to single rooms in the ED while awaiting results of diagnostic tests such as flu swab," said the spokesperson.

"These patients cannot be moved until their diagnosis has been confirmed. During the morning a number of isolation patients are removed from the isolation list and are discharged home, however many still require admission for medical reasons.

"Every morning we move up to 23 patients who are waiting for beds from the ED to wards, so that patients can access the first beds that are vacated by early morning discharges following doctor’s rounds. This number reduces over the day as patients are discharged. Currently there 10 patients with confirmed flu across the group.

"UL Hospitals Group regrets that any patient has to face long waits in our ED during busy periods and any distress or inconvenience which this causes to patients and their loved ones.

"The new ED at UHL has designated spaces for 49 patients and admitted patients waiting for a bed are often in single rooms or designated bays. While patients still face delays in the new ED, it provides for a much improved patient experience compared to the old department which had 33 bays and has greatly improved the privacy, safety and dignity of our patients.

"Patients in the new ED have access to some of the most advanced diagnostics equipment in the country in the department itself," the spokesperson added.