UL Hospitals Group is urging members of the public to consider all care options before attending the Emergency Department (ED) at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).
The hospital is currently managing high volumes of patients including many unwell elderly patients with medical conditions who have presented to the ED over recent days.
In a statement UL Hospitals Group said, “We are sorry that any admitted patient faces a long wait for a bed and we are working to ensure that all patients continue to receive expert medical care while they are waiting.
“We have opened surge capacity at UHL and we are appropriately transferring patients to other hospitals in our Group, and to the non-acute Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) at the University of Limerick (UL).
“The public have an important role to play in helping us to ensure the ED is prioritised for the most seriously ill and severely injured people who need it most. People must consider all care options available to them before they attend ED, including their family doctors, out-of-hours GP services and local pharmacies.
“It is imperative that the Emergency Department is for emergencies only and patients presenting to the department with a minor injury may be redirected to one of our Injury Units. Patients may also be redirected to the medical assessment units in Ennis and Nenagh. In all emergency cases where a patient is seriously injured or ill or worried their life is at risk, they should call an ambulance or present to the ED.
“In circumstances where UHL is the only Model 4 hospital in the MidWest, beds in this hospital are prioritised for the most unwell patients. Not all patients who present to UHL need to be admitted there and not all need to have their full episode of care in UHL. Patients may be transferred to our Model 2 hospitals in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s, or to the Intermediate Care Facility at UL Arena, all of which have fully staffed medical beds with excellent medical, nursing and allied health professionals.”