Home » Tag Archives: Colette Cowan

Tag Archives: Colette Cowan

Phased opening of new €19.5 million 60-bed modular unit starts next Monday

THE new €19.5 million 60-bed block modular unit to tackle overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) will be fully operational almost two months after a recent predicted timeframe given by a government minister. Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler stated in the Seanad recently “from a construction perspective, the new ward block should be ready to be operational by Monday, November 9”. However, it has now been confirmed the long-awaited modular unit will come on stream in three distinct phases, starting with 20 beds next Monday and will not be fully operational until January. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has told Deputy Cathal Crowe a new 20-bed ward, which is part of the 60-bed unit will open next Monday, this will be followed by a further 20 in December and the final 20 will be up and running in January. “A state-of-the-art facility will be in place at UHL now, and the timing couldn’t be better …

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Elective Procedures cancelled at Ennis Hospital due to Covid-19 outbreak

ALL routine outpatient appointments and the majority of elective procedures scheduled for this Thursday and Friday have been cancelled in University Hospital Limerick and Ennis Hospital, as both hospitals manage active outbreaks of Covid-19. Significant numbers of staff are currently off work and self-isolating having either tested positive for Covid-19 or been designated as close contact. Outbreak control teams established in both locations are working closely with public health and occupational health colleagues and all the relevant HPSC guidance is being followed as we work to contain the virus and to protect patients and staff. Contact tracing and testing of staff and patients is continuing and the group are putting into effect all the appropriate infection control measures to mitigate the risk. The UL Hospitals’ Group has experienced considerable staffing challenges in recent days and just under 50 patients had their procedures cancelled on Monday, November 9th. The Group’s Hospital Crisis Management Team took the difficult decision on Wednesday to …

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Councillor Murphy seeks improvements in diabetes treatment

COUNCILLOR Cillian Murphy has requested actions to provide insulin pump therapy and Type One Diabetes Self-Management Education for  Clare adults with Type One diabetes. Speaking at a HSE West Forum meeting on Tuesday, Councillor Murphy asked the HSE if it could confirm whether diabetes dietitians and diabetes specialist nurses posts have been included by the UL Hospitals’ Group in their 2021 Budget Estimates. If this is the case, he wondered when would the public be informed when these vital posts were approved. UL Hospitals’ Group chief executive officer, Colette Cowan confirmed there is only one whole-time equivalent (WTE) consultant endocrinologist in UL Hospitals’ Group working with adult diabetic patients and noted a second consultant endocrinologist is due to commence in October 2020. The adult diabetes service is supported by a dedicated team of clinical nurse specialists (CNS) and staff nurses. Diabetic nurse support is available in St Johns, Ennis and University Maternity Hospital Limerick. In addition there are currently two …

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Thirty healthcare staff reassigned to other duties in UL Hospitals’ Group

ABOUT 30 staff who are considered vulnerable workers are being reassigned to other duties in the UL Hospitals’ Group, it emerged this week. The reassignment was completed in compliance with the Return to Work Safely Protocol produced by the Health and Safety Authority, HSE and the Department of Health, and in accordance with human resources and occupational health guidance. In an overview of Covid-19 circulated for county councillors, UL Hospitals’ Group chief executive officer, Colette Cowan revealed local laboratory testing for Covid-19 at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) reached a new high of 280 tests in a single day recently. The group’s microbiology team and medical scientists have worked extremely hard to scale up testing and they are now at the limits of what can be achieved with existing equipment. The group are sourcing new test instruments that will allow it to further increase and enhance local testing capacity at UHL. Stocks of Personal Protective Equipment within the group are currently …

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Plan calls for new ‘Urgent Care Centre’ to ease overcrowding at regional hospital

THE development of a new ‘Urgent Care Centre’ at University Hospital Limerick has been recommended in a new draft plan by a Mid-West steering group looking at ways to alleviate overcrowding at the hospital. The news is confirmed in response to a parliamentary question from Clare TD Joe Carey. Deputy Carey directly raised the issue with the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. The local Fine Gael TD asked the minister if he was aware of the proposal to develop the Urgent Care Centre at University Hospital Limerick and if the necessary resources would be provided “to advance the plan and deal with chronic overcrowding at the hospital”. In reply, Minister Donnelly forwarded a response from UL Hospitals Group chief executive Colette Cowan. Ms Cowan confirmed to Deputy Carey, “A Mid-West Integrated Care Steering Group comprising staff from HSE MidWest Community Healthcare, UL Hospitals Group, National Ambulance Service and the Department of Public Health MidWest has developed a draft plan for an …

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Visiting ban remains in place at UL Hospitals

UL Hospitals Group is reminding members of the public that the ban on visiting across its six hospitals remains in place. The activation of Phase 3 in lifting the Covid-19 public health restrictions will allow us to gradually increase elective activity across our sites. However, the visiting ban remains in place to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and to help protect the safety of patients and staff during the ongoing public health emergency. The visiting ban was introduced in early March at University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, St John’s Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, Ennis Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. The ban also applies to the Intermediate Care Facility which opened at the UL Arena on June 8. Nor is visiting permitted to patients attending the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick or at the Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s. “We regret the distress or inconvenience our visiting ban causes for patients and their loved …

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UHL can cope with second Covid-19 surge

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick (UHL) will be able to cope with a second wave of Covid-19, according to a senior clinician. Professor Paul Burke, chief academic officer at UL Hospitals’ Group believes Ireland may experience new clusters of the virus like other countries. Speaking at a recent media briefing in the University of Limerick, Professor predicted there will be a “relative surge” of coronavirus. “I think there will be a relative surge. There may be clusters like Seoul in South Korea. We do have a good contact tracing system in place. If we identify things quickly we will be able to curb it. “I think we will have a consistent number of Covid-19 patients in our hospitals on an ongoing basis. The threat will continue to remain. “I would be confident that UHL will cope with another surge. It has been remarkable over the last three months. The first notifiable case was in the Mid-West. We instituted our close down a …

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retiring clinical director issues Covid-19 warning

A retiring senior clinician has warned that public hospitals could still be overwhelmed by a resurgence of Covid-19. While UL Hospitals’ Group chief clinical director, Dr Gerry Burke is relieved with the suppression of coronavirus, he has urged people to “hold firm” as intensive care facilities in Ireland still have limited capacity to deal with a potential second wave of the virus later this year. “It has been a massive effort, but it’s a work in progress. The threat has not gone away. It has abated somewhat, but there is a threat of us being overwhelmed by a resurgence of the disease. “It’s important to remember that our ICU in capacity in Ireland is still limited; that we still have limited single room space; and limited numbers of medical and nursing staff. We must not be complacent. We have got to hold firm,” he said. In addition to requiring an additional 300 public acute beds, Dr Burke, who retired recently, …

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