A PROPOSED 96-bed block at University Hospital Limerick is likely to cost in the region of €50m and could take at least three years to complete.
The UL Hospitals, which oversees all public acute hospitals in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary, is now currently in the process of adding 156 beds to its UHL capacity.
The €20m 60 single bed block is due for completion by the end of this year, while the HSE submitted its planning application for the 96-bed block in the past two weeks. The project could be ready by September 2023, a spokesperson for the hospital group told the Leader.
However, the timeline for completion is dependent on the hospital group securing funding over the coming years.
The spokesperson said that the planning application was submitted following a “comprehensive feasibility study to develop a scheme best suited to the available footprint.
“It is hoped that a grant of planning permission will be achieved in the coming months. The detailed design stage of the project will also be progressed.”
UHL has been consistently the most overcrowded hospital in the country for several years, following the reconfiguration of the emergency departments in the Mid-West region.
On January 6 this year, UHL set a new overcrowding record when there were 92 patients being treated on trolleys in the emergency department and wards.
As it faces a “a very challenging winter”, UL Hospitals Group will be operating Covid and non-Covid patient pathways, while “gradually and safely” increasing elective activity, which had been curtailed at the height of the pandemic.
“We are currently working with our colleagues in the HSE nationally and with community and public health colleagues in the Mid-West on finalising our winter plan. The plan will include additional bed capacity and extra staffing, closer integration with community services and hospital avoidance measures.”
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