04 Dec 2021

Outpatient appointments and elective surgeries cancelled at Limerick hospitals

Outpatient appointments and elective surgeries cancelled at Limerick hospitals

University Hospital Limerick

THE UL Hospitals Group has announced the cancellation of all but the most time-critical outpatient appointments at University Hospital Limerick on Monday.

Some elective surgeries scheduled to take place at UHL and St John’s Hospital have also been cancelled.

Confirming the decision, a spokesperson for UL Hospitals said the decision has been made in order in order to assist with patient flow as UHL continues to manage an "extraordinarily high level of emergency presentations", and increasing numbers of Covid-positive patients.

The Group is appealing to members of the public to to consider all available care options, while the hospital frees up capacity to care for seriously ill patients presenting to the Emergency Department.

Patients who are directly affected by Monday’s cancellations are being contacted and their appointments will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.

"Cancelling elective activity is an option of last resort, and the Group is profoundly sorry for the impact these cancellations will have on patients who had expected to attend for clinics or procedures on Monday, many of whom will have been waiting a long time for appointments.  In this context, the decision to cancel electives and outpatient clinics has been taken in the interests of the safety of all patients and staff in UHL," said a spokesperson.

Appointments at Ennis, Nenagh, Croom and University Maternity Hospital Limerick are unaffected by today's decision. Emergency care will also continue through the ED in UHL, while Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s Hospitals will remain open.  

Services that are unaffected by these cancellations and will continue include: Cancer Clinics, Rapid Access Lung, Rapid Access Prostate, Rapid Access Breast Clinics, Nurse-led Heart Failure and Cardiac Rehab, Day-case Angiograms, Acute Fracture Clinic, Endoscopy Clinics, Eye Clinic, ENT Clinic.

UL Hospitals says the situation will be reviewed on Monday, in the hope of resuming the closed services as soon as possible.

"We continue to work to the other elements of our Escalation Plan, including additional ward rounds, accelerating discharges and identifying patients for transfer to our Model 2 hospitals. We are also working with our colleagues in HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare, in order to expedite discharges. However, it should be noted that patients being admitted to UHL at this time are generally very sick with complex conditions, and require longer inpatient stays to recover," said a spokesperson.

All patients who present to the ED with minor injuries —such as suspected broken bones, cuts, bruises, sprains and strains—will be redirected to the Injury Units in Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s for treatment.

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