UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has already exceeded 2017 overcrowding figures by nearly 20%, according new statistics published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation this Wednesday.
In 2017, there were 8,869 patients treated on trolley in the emergency department and on additional trolleys or beds in the wards at UHL. As of November 28, there have been 10,554 patients on trolleys in UHL so far this year.
According to the new figures, there were 6,332 patients being treated on a trolley in the emergency department and 4,222 in the wards.
There have been 100,385 patients on trolleys so far this year nationwide, 10.5% of which was at UHL.
The UL Hospitals Group has been contacted for a comment.
There were 46 patients on trolleys at UHL this Wednesday morning, the second highest rate in the country, behind Cork University Hospital which had 52 patients on trolleys.
Earlier this week, the UL Hospitals Group issued an urgent appeal to the public about attending the emergency department in Dooradoyle.
A spokesperson said on Monday afternoon:
“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.”