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Tag Archives: overcrowding

UHL problems likened to ‘a car crash in slow motion’

HIGH levels of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL), the cancellation of outpatients appointments, and spiralling waiting lists have been described as akin to watching a “car crash in slow motion”. As UHL struggles to deal with an increase in Covid-19 patients and a dramatic increase in ED admissions, a senior government minister has admitted the pandemic record of 91 patients on trolleys in the hospital on October 12 was unacceptable. UHL had the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country on Tuesday with 47, and had the second highest number of suspected cases of the virus with 42. Seven confirmed cases were in ICU, while there was only one available ICU bed on Tuesday. In an interview with The Clare Champion, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the health service is dealing with an extraordinary global pandemic, which has put a lot of pressure and strain on hospitals. “This is going to have a knock-on impact on …

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Overcrowding Continues At University Hospital Limerick

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 …

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‘Exceptionally high’ pressure on region’s ED

ATTENDANCES at the Emergency Department (ED) at the region’s main hospital continue to hit record levels last seen before the pandemic. In a statement, the University of Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG) confirmed that well in excess of 200 patients have been presenting every 24 hours at the ED in Dooradoyle. It has again asked members of the public to “consider all care options” before attending. In the 24-hour period to 8am on Wednesday (August 18), 229 patients attended the ED. A total of 241 attended the ED in the previous 24-hour period. “This continues a pattern of high attendances to ED around the country which has been sustained over a number of weeks and current activity levels remain far in excess of the 195 average attendances at our ED recorded in 2019, the last full year pre-pandemic,” a statement said. The hospital has also seen an increase in the number of Covid-positive patients being treated. As of Wednesday, there were …

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Visitor restrictions lifted at UHL

VISITING restrictions imposed at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) earlier this month are being lifted and scheduled visits to inpatient wards can recommence, by arrangement, from tomorrow (Thursday, August 19). The temporary visiting ban announced on August 6 was one of a number of infection control measures adopted in response to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the facility. Hospital management, working closely with infection prevention and control and microbiology colleagues, have now decided it is safe and appropriate to reintroduce hospital visiting in line with the relevant national guidance. Scheduled individual inpatient visits are being coordinated by the clinical nurse managers and ward clerks, in consultation with patients and their families and loved ones. From Wednesday, hospital staff have been making contact with these families and loved ones to arrange/schedule visits. The hospital has warned that members of the public who have not arranged their visit in advance cannot be accommodated. It should be noted that these visits are for inpatients …

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Nursing Union Seek Inquiry Into Overcrowding At UHL

A NURSING union has requested the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to conduct an external inquiry to establish why overcrowding is so high in University Hospital Limerick (UHL), despite the provision of almost 100 extra in-patient beds. The nurses and midwives’ union called for HIQA to investigate what is going wrong at the hospital and make recommendations to alleviate pressure. UHL has been the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland every day this year. It had the highest overall number of patients waiting for care without beds in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The INMO said that “despite significant recruitment and 100+ additional acute beds”, the hospital still faced “runaway” overcrowding. On Friday, 52 patients were on trolleys in UHL, more than treble the number in any other hospital in the state. INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Mary Fogarty, said frontline staff are at their wits’ end. The hospital has recruited extra staff and secured a hundred extra beds. …

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Mixed Views On HSE’s Record €600 Million Winter Plan

MIXED views have been expressed by local deputies about the provision of a record €600 million for the government’s 2020/21 Winter Plan. The importance of providing an effective Winter Plan was illustrated on September 16 when 80 patients in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) were without a bed, which was the highest figure recorded in an Irish hospital since Covid-19 restrictions began. This resulted in at least eight vulnerable elderly patients being left on chairs in UHL. The INMO has called for urgent intervention from the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly with the immediate appointment of an external crisis management team to oversee governance at the hospital Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne described the Winter Plan as a “wish list” lacking in detail, targets and timelines for staff recruitment and bed delivery. “It falls far short on the number of beds and staff required to safely deliver Covid-19, non-Covid-19, and catch up care in the coming months. “Our plan, which I launched in …

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Frail elderly patients left waiting on chairs in UHL

EIGHT frail elderly patients were left on chairs in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) due to chronic overcrowding on Tuesday night, according to a nursing union. The Clare Champion can reveal that some vulnerable elderly patients were reportedly using a bed table to lean on due to the absence of proper facilities amid claims that the situation in the hospital is “unsafe”. The INMO has estimated there are close on 100 nursing vacancies at the hospital as nurses struggle to cope with a surge in activity. Concerns have been expressed about the impact of overcrowding at the hospital after the number of patients on trolleys increased from 62 on Monday to 69 on Tuesday, which was the highest level in the country. This compared to 27 in Sligo University Hospital, which was the second most overcrowded hospital in the country. The UL Hospitals’ Group has cancelled all elective activity and certain diagnostic procedures at UHL from Wednesday to Friday to de-escalate …

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Dr Harty warns Covid-19 restrictions will increase overcrowding at UHL

OVERCROWDING in University Hospital Limerick now seems inevitable due to new Covid-19 restrictions, a local doctor has warned. The number of patients on trolleys in UHL reached 54 on Thursday, July 2 and Monday, July 6 which was the highest figure for any hospital in the country, according to figures produced by the INMO trolley watch. While the number of patients without beds dropped slightly to 48 on Tuesday, July 7 this was more than double the next highest hospital University College Hospital, Cork, which had 20 and contrasted sharply with Nenagh, Ennis and University Hospital Galway, which had no patients on trolleys. Dr Michael Harty pointed out that while UHL operated at 110% capacity in previous years he could now only run at 80% due to new Covid-19 measures such as social distancing and infection control. “Trolleys will be inevitable. Unless new models of practice are used, we will be back to levels experienced last winter before this year’s …

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