Overcrowding continues to cause major difficulties at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) where there were 75 patients on trolleys on Monday following a very busy weekend of admissions.
This trolley total was the highest in the country, and was 30 more than Letterkenny University Hospital where 45 patients were waiting to access an in-patient bed.
On Sunday, the UL Hospitals’ Group issued a public appeal for patients to consider all alternative care options before presenting to the ED in UHL.
The group admitted patients are experiencing long wait times following a week of very high demand for emergency services. In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, the group outlined every effort is being made by management and staff to reduce these wait times and to maximise patient flow.
The group regrets that any patient has to wait for extended periods of time.
During September 2021, daily attendances at the ED averaged 240 an increase of 22%, compared with 195 in 2019, the last full year of the pandemic.
The group continue to follow their escalation plan, which includes additional ward rounds, accelerating discharges and identifying patients for transfer to our Model 2 hospitals.
However, current demand for hospital services is multi-faceted and high numbers of admitted patients require a level of care that, for the Mid-West, can only be provided at UHL. In general, patients currently admitted to UHL are sicker and with more complicated conditions and require longer inpatient stays to recover.
The group reminded members of the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the department. Injury units in Ennis and Nenagh are open from 8am to 8pm, and St John’s is open from 8am to 7pm.
Injury Units cater for the treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns. Anyone with less serious illness or conditions should contact their GPs or out-of-hours GP services. However, if someone is seriously injured or ill or are worried their life is at risk the ED will assess and treat them as a priority.
The group apologised to any patient who has experienced a long wait for admission to UHL during this period of exceptionally high demand for their services.