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Tag Archives: UL Hospitals Group

UHL closed to visitors over Covid and flu outbreaks

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick (UHL) will be closed to inpatient visiting for the next number of days due to multiple outbreaks of Covid-19 and influenza across the site. There are limited exceptions to the safety measure including parents visiting children in hospital; people assisting confused patients (e.g. dementia) (on a case-by-case basis); people visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life (on a case-by-case basis). All exemptions are limited to one person per patient only. Seven wards are currently affected, and on the recommendation of the UL Hospitals outbreak teams, the decision to close to visitors was taken as a precautionary measure. A spokesperson said that all appropriate infection control precautions were being followed to minimise the risk of spreading infection among staff and patients in the hospital, and also within the wider community. “The situation is being monitored and reviewed daily, and we will relax the restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so. We’re …

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UHL warns public to expect long delays at emergency department

UL HOSPITALS Group has notified the public that there will be significant delays at UHL’s emergency department (ED) today. The group has advised people to consider all alternative care options before attending ED as it is busy managing high attendances of very sick people with a variety of complex illnesses, including Covid-19. People with less urgent complaints are advised to expect long delays at the ED today, and have been asked to first consider attending one of the local injury units, (such as that at Ennis), GPs, out-of-hours GP services and pharmacists before attending ED, which continues to experience high presentations. A spokesperson said, “We are working to ensure that care is prioritised for the sickest patients, and as part of our escalation plan, additional ward rounds, accelerated discharges and identification of patients for transfer to our Model 2 hospitals are all underway. We have also opened surge capacity to manage the extremely high levels of activity. “We are reminding …

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Donnelly refutes cover-up claim ahead of his UHL visit

HEALTH Minister Stephen Donnelly has refuted claims that a “clean up operation” was carried out in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) to present a better picture for him before his hospital visit last week, writes Dan Danaher. Speaking in the Dáil on Thursday, February 17, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Garvan highlighted a “shocking” issue at UHL concerning the minister’s visit to the hospital. “I had people reach out to me from the hospital yesterday to tell me what was happening ahead of his visit. Trolleys have been moved out to other wards in the hospital, as well as to step-down hospitals. “One person told me that there were more private ambulances there yesterday than they had seen in a long time. They were to get patients out, ahead of the visit. “Unfortunately for hospital management, and in fairness to the Minister, Deputy Stephen Donnelly, he called in unexpectedly yesterday (Wednesday) evening. “The response to that was to hide patients in the …

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Mid-West outpatient waiting list up 18.5% over three years

THE number of public patients waiting for an out-patient appointment in the Mid-West increased by 18.5% over a three-year period, new figures have revealed. Like all hospital groups, chief clinical director, Professor Brian Lenehan acknowledged the UL Hospitals’ Group saw an increase in its out-patient waiting list (OPD) from 46,675 in 2019 to 55,350 in 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The UL Hospitals’ Group represents about 9% of all healthcare activity in the country and the current waiting list is reflective of that.” In an online media briefing, he said there was a 19.5% increase in the number of patients awaiting OPD first consultation between 2019 and 2020 of more than 9,000 patients. The biggest effect on waiting lists can be seen for patients waiting 18 months or longer for their first out-patients clinic visit due to the reduction in the number of clinics due to Covid-19 outbreaks and social distancing. He said the focus for …

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UHL has highest number of Covid patients in the country

THERE has been a 20% hike in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 being treated in University Hospital Limerick (UHL), which is now the highest in the country, writes Dan Danaher. As of January 19, there were 84 confirmed cases of the virus being treated in UHL, which was the highest in the country. This compared to 74 in Galway University Hospital, 56 in the Mater, 50 in St Vincent’s Hospital and 46 in Connolly. A week earlier there had been 70 confirmed cases of Covid-19 being treated in UHL, which was the second highest in the country after Galway University Hospital on 78. Nine of the confirmed cases in UHL were being treated in ICU and there was no spare intensive care bed on this day. UHL was also treating 27 suspected cases of the virus last week. UHL is also treating 20 suspected cases of the virus, which is the second highest in the country. St James …

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Visitor restrictions at UHL over Covid-19 outbreak

VISITING restrictions are in place at University Hospital Limerick in an effort to manage an outbreak of Covid-19. Three wards are currently affected but UL Hospitals Group, as a precautionary measure, is restricting visiting on all inpatient wards at UHL. Restrictions on visits to the Emergency Department, Acute Surgical Assessment Unit, and Acute Medical Assessment Unit at UHL also remain in force. The only exceptions to the visiting ban are: parents visiting children in hospital; people assisting confused patients, e.g. dementia, (on a case-by-case basis); people visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life (on a case-by-case basis). All these exemptions are limited to one person per patient only. A spokesperson for the group said, “We regret any inconvenience this visiting ban causes for patients and their loved ones. Our outbreak control team has convened and hospital management has decided it is now necessary to impose these measures in the interests of patient safety and keeping essential …

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Surgeries put back another week as 675 staff out over Covid

REDUCTIONS in scheduled care across UL Hospitals Group have been extended for a further week as high levels of Covid-19 related staff absences mean emergency and time-critical care must be prioritised. This Friday, January 7 a total of 675 staff (whole-time equivalents) or approximately 13% of the UL Hospitals Group workforce are unavailable for work for reasons relating to Covid-19. The Hospital Crisis Management Team this Friday confirmed the deferral of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments across its hospitals from Monday, January 10 until Friday, January 14. This includes University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital, and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. Services at University Maternity Hospital Limerick are unaffected. All impacted patients are being contacted directly by the hospital. Staff absences continue to rise as a result of the current surge in Covid-19 and this is having an adverse impact on service delivery. This includes staff who are positive, closes contacts, those restricting movements or …

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Mid-West health services crippled by Covid absenteeism

THE new Omicron Covid-19 variant is crippling health services following a dramatic 46% hike in absences throughout the public acute hospital system in just four days, writes Dan Danaher. Official figures obtained by The Clare Champion have revealed the number of staff out sick on Covid-19 related illness in the UL Hospitals’ Group increased from 392 on Friday to 575 on Tuesday. It is understood that the current Covid-19 related absences due to confirmed cases and close contacts is one of the highest in the group since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The Mid-West Department of Public Health has released preliminary analysis showing between 1,100 and 1,500 daily Covid-19 cases across the region. This would surpass previous records seen in January 2021 of 902 cases on January 2, 2021. The group has confirmed Covid-19 related staff absences are resulting in significant disruption to services. In addition to resulting in staff shortages, the new variant has led to …

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