MORE THAN 460 attended the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick over a 48-hour period, forcing all elective activity to be cancelled for a whole day this week.
From Monday 8am to Wednesday 8am, UHL emergency department saw 464 attendances, a spokesperson told the Limerick Leader this week.
And as part of the UL Hospitals Group’s escalation process, it decided to defer all elective activity on Tuesday, with only some cancelled appointments and surgeries rearranged for this Wednesday.
She said the escalation efforts allowed departments and staff to “focus their efforts on processing inpatients and emergency presentations and to decongest the ED and inpatient wards”.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused but this measure was necessary to meet the demand in emergency presentations,” the spokesperson added.
All consultants were contacted to discharge/step down patients where clinically appropriate.
All available surge capacity in the acute medical assessment unit and surgical day ward has been opened in UHL to accommodate admissions from the emergency department, the hospital spokesperson said.
“All Model 2 hospitals (Nenagh Hospital, Ennis Hospital, Croom Orthopaedic Hospital & St John’s Hospital) were advised of the importance of discharges and were asked to make surge beds available for additional transfer.”
“In addition to transferring appropriate patients to community care settings and maximising access to Homecare packages and Transition care, exceptional funding to support stepping down patients to nursing home care who were awaiting long term care was put in place as an emergency response.”
Members of the public are urged to consider all their care options at this time and not to attend the emergency department unless necessary. Injury Units in St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals are open for appropriate injuries. Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John's Hospital.
“Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.”