03 Jul 2022

Scheduled care deferred at University Hospital Limerick amid rise in admissions

A visiting ban is in place at University Hospital Limerick

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick have announced there will be significant reductions in scheduled care this week as they manage a high number of patients.

The hospital has raised its level of escalation and this has resulted in the deferral of all but the most time-critical elective activity at UHL this Tuesday and Wednesday, May 31 and June 1.

Almost all elective surgical procedures, outpatient appointments and diagnostic investigations are deferred for these three days, with the decision to be reviewed this Wednesday, June 1.

Elective and day surgery is also impacted at Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital and St John’s Hospital this Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1.

Services at University Maternity Hospital Limerick and at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital are unaffected by these disruptions and patients at both hospitals are advised to attend for their appointments.

Appointments at UHL which are going ahead at this time include cancer services, dialysis, breast radiology, heart failure clinic and cardiac rehabilitation, Rapid Access Medical Unit, Dermatology outpatients (urgent/time-critical), Infectious diseases outpatients, Bronchoscopy outpatients, Cardiology diagnostics, OPAT, Fracture Clinic, Paediatric outpatient clinics, Endoscopy
and Vascular Laboratory.

Prof Brian Lenehan, Chief Clinical Director, UL Hospitals Group said: "We apologise to all patients currently experiencing long wait times for a bed in our Emergency Department and in our assessment units. This is not what we wish for our patients, in particular the many frail elderly patients with complex medical needs who require admission to hospital.

"At 8am this morning, there was a total of 81 admitted patients waiting for a bed outside of the designated bed spaces in our ED, in the Medical and Surgical Assessment Units and on our inpatient wards."

"To further increase capacity, we have taken the decision today to defer patients scheduled for surgery and for outpatient appointments.

"This is very difficult for patients who have already been waiting a long time for scheduled care as we attempt to catch up after so much pandemic-related disruption.

"These patients will be rescheduled as soon as possible however the increasing frequency with which these patients are having their care delayed underlines the fundamental mismatch between service demand and bed capacity in the MidWest region."

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