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UL Hospitals' Group CEO, Colette Cowan, “UL Hospitals group will prioritise our most urgent patients for planned procedures and appointments next week and we look forward to increasing activity as soon as possible."

hospitals’ visitor ban continues for patient safety

UL Hospitals’ Group has reminded the public that the ban on visiting at its six hospital sites remains in place, to help protect the safety of staff and patients during the ongoing Covid-19 public health emergency.

The visiting ban introduced in early March at University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, St John’s Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, Ennis Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital is unaffected by the activation this week of Phase One in the five-phase reopening Ireland’s society and economy.

The group welcomes the beginning of emergence from the restrictions of the past two months. While the group regret the distress or inconvenience the visiting ban causes for patients and their loved ones, a spokesman stressed it is necessary to keep the ban in place while the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 remains present.

The reasons for limiting movement within hospitals remain as urgent as they were when the visiting ban was introduced in early March – to minimise the risk of spreading the coronavirus infection among staff and patients within health facilities and also within the wider community.

The only exceptions to the ban are parents visiting children in hospital;
birthing partners of women in the delivery ward only at University Maternity Hospital Limerick and people assisting confused patients such as dementia.
People visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life  will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
All these exemptions are limited to one person per patient only.

Under the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business, the resumption of normal visiting at hospitals is provided for in Phase 5 of the roadmap, which is scheduled to commence on August 10.

For now, the group’s visiting ban remains in place in line with this guidance and will be reviewed as the country proceed through the phases of the roadmap for reopening society in the coming weeks and months.

Hospitals’ Group CEO Colette Cowan thanked the public of the Mid-West for their support in recent months, in particular their cooperation with the visiting ban.

“The support of the people of the Mid-West during this public health emergency has been truly incredible, but it’s important that we don’t become complacent.”

“We must remain vigilant about limiting spread of this highly contagious disease. It’s important that we don’t risk undoing everything society has done to flatten the Covid-19 curve. Let us all hold firm and follow the guidance that will minimise the risk to society in the crucial time ahead. I’m grateful that the visiting ban has been respected in our hospitals in the past two months, and appeal for your continued support,” she said.

The ban on visitors also applies to patients attending the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick and the Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s.

The group are also urging the public to keep the Emergency Department for emergencies only; a place where priority is given to the seriously injured and ill and those whose lives may be at risk.

Anyone else should first consider all the care options available to them in them in their own communities, their family doctors, out-of-hours GP services, or ask their local pharmacies for advice.

Local Injury Units (IUs) at Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals  operating from 8am to 8pm daily, and St John’s Hospital, which operates from 8am to 7pm, daily are an excellent option for treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns, without the lengthy wait that can be expected in the ED during busy periods.

Dan Danaher

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