University Hospital Limerick issues urgent public appeal amid major overcrowding

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

University Hospital Limerick issues urgent public appeal amid major overcrowding

UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL Limerick management has issued an urgent public appeal in response to major overcrowding in its emergency department this Monday. 

According to figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation on Monday morning, there were 68 patients being treated on trolleys in the ED and on an extra trolley or bed in the wards at the hospital in Dooradoyle. 

The number of patients on trolleys at UHL is 15.5% of the overcrowding problem nationally. 

In a statement to the media this Monday, the UL Hospitals Group said it is “appealing to members of the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the Emergency Department at UHL.

“The hospital is currently managing high volumes of patients including significant volumes of frail elderly patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs.”

The spokesperson said it apologises “for any inconvenience caused to patients or their loved ones who have experienced long wait times in the ED at UHL, and we would like to reassure patients and their families that we are working to alleviate the situation”. 

He said that 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. However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.”