NURSES at one of the country’s busiest emergency departments say they are looking forward to hearing the detail on plans for a new A&E at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.
The HSE said last week that work on “a new state-of-the-art emergency department will start in next month”.
“It will be built and equipped over a two-year period and will include a dedicated paediatric area,” a spokesman for the Executive said.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has been highlighting overcrowding at the emergency department for many years and its Limerick representative Mary Fogarty said a new facility would be “superb for patients, for nurses and for all staff because what they have to put up with at the moment is simply not up to standard”.
“Some of our members have been told the new emergency department will be on the ground floor of the critical care unit but we have yet to receive official confirmation of that from the HSE,” Ms Fogarty said.
The union looked forward to discussing details with management at a meeting scheduled for early next month.
Pickets mounted by nurses outside the Regional Hospital - to highlight the overcrowding problem - late in 2011 prompted Minister for Health James Reilly to get his special delivery unit to examine problems at the emergency department and to introduce changes, including in management structures.
“In fairness, great efforts have been made and the new management team has a good understanding of the issues we have been raising,” Ms Fogarty said, “but it remains a hospital with a lot of internal difficulties that need to be overcome.”