29 Sept 2022

Deferrals in scheduled care at Limerick hospitals amid rise in Covid-19 activity

Deferrals in scheduled care at Limerick hospitals amid rise in Covid-19 activity

Scheduled care is being reduced at St John's Hospital in Limerick for the time being

THE University of Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG) has announced deferrals of elective activity across its facilities will continue into next week.

It comes amid what it describes as a "surge" in emergency presentations and an increase in Covid-19 activity.

Yesterday, the hospital's crisis management team met, and decided that from Monday, March 28, almost all scheduled care at St John's Hospital, Croom Orthopaedic Hospital plus Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals will be deferred for the time being.

This includes all patients planning to attend these hospitals for outpatient appointments, elective surgery (day case and inpatient) and endoscopy.

Patients are being advised not to attend for their appointments or procedures unless contacted directly by staff and advised otherwise.

Services at University Maternity Hospital Limerick are unaffected by these cancellations and women are advised to attend for their appointments.

Almost all elective activity at University Hospital Limerick – including outpatient appointments, elective surgery and diagnostic investigations – remains deferred until further notice as the hospital manages a sustained surge in emergency presentations, a significant increase in Covid-19 activity and an increase in the numbers of staff unavailable related to Covid-19.

In a statement, ULHG says it regrets this reduction, but added it is "necessary to prioritise emergency and time-critical care for the sickest patients in the Mid-West. Affected patients will be contacted as soon as possible to reschedule their appointments and procedures. This decision is being kept under review daily."

The Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) remains open 24-7 for emergency cases and emergency and trauma surgery is continuing.

Injury units and Medical Assessment Units continue to operate as normal at St John’s Hospital, while trauma surgery continues at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital.

 There are a limited number of exceptions to the cancellations. Appointments which are going ahead at this time include:

Cancer services (oncology and haematology day ward; haematology and oncology OPD clinics; medical oncology clinics; rapid access clinics for breast, lung and prostate) (UHL)
Dialysis (UHL)
Fracture Clinic (UHL)
Paediatric Outpatient clinics (UHL)
Endoscopy (UHL)
OPAT (antibiotic therapy) (UHL)
Bronscoscopy (UHL)
Warfarin (UHL)

Visiting restrictions remain in place at UHL and at Nenagh Hospital amid the high numbers of patients who have tested positive for Covid-19.

The only exceptions to this are parents visiting children in hospital, people assisting confused patients; for example, dementia
visiting on compassionate grounds; for example, for patients who are critically unwell or at end of life.

Exemptions are limited to one person per patient and will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

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