Limerick hospital criticised for 'senseless' closure of ward

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Limerick hospital criticised for 'senseless' closure of ward

SIPTU has hit out at the UL Hospitals Group over the recent closure of a 17-bed ward at University Hospital Limerick

SIPTU has hit out at the UL Hospitals Group over the recent closure of a 17-bed ward at University Hospital Limerick.

Ward 1A at the Dooradoyle hospital is to close to facilitate the completion of works on a new fracture unit.

The plan to close the unit is offset by recently-opened 12-bed surgical short stay unit; three extra cardiology beds opened last week; five bed spaces are being looked at the vacated former acute medical assessment unit; and examining the opening of the 15-bed 4C on weekends, a spokesperson said. 

He said that staff were “fully involved” in the process, and that the outcome of this process was to open a new fracture clinic in a part of the old emergency department.

“This will have a significant benefit for patients attending our busy fracture clinic in terms of reduced wait times and improved patient experience.”

A Siptu spokesperson said that the union met with senior management on January 9.

“At this meeting, management said it was proposing to close Ward 1A in order to facilitate the opening of a fracture unit in its place.

“We pointed out that it was senseless at this point to close a 16-bed unit when the hospital was effectively operating beyond capacity with trolleys on wards every night.

“Agreement was reached that these beds would remain open and that if there was to be any change, management would re-engage with union representatives. Our members are upset to learn that management proposes to go ahead with the closure of this ward at the end of March. This is despite there being no further discussions on this issue between management and union representatives.”