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Tag Archives: UL Hospitals Group

University Hospital Limerick.

Overcrowding protocol concerns at UHL

EMERGENCY measures, to manage overcrowding, has been used at the region’s main hospital, on average, every second day of the year to the end of September. The situation has been compared, by a member of the HSE West forum, to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Figures, obtained by the Irish Patients’ Association, show that the Full Capacity Protocol was deployed at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) on 184 days. The protocol involves putting extra beds on wards and in corridors, and only the acute facility in Waterford invoked this so called ‘last resort’ more often. Councillor Cillian Murphy described the protocol as “a nice fancy name for overcrowding”. “When I hear of a solution being described as ‘low cost, high impact’, my cynicism button lights up,” he said. “When something is low cost, it is rarely high impact in a positive way. We need to get to the root of the problem and, in my view, that means getting more …

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Hospital Investigates Serious Patient Data Breach

DOZENS of Clare patients are expected to be affected by a breach of patient information at University Hospital Limerick. The UL Hospitals’ Group are writing to 630 patients including 95 children concerning a breach of patient data in relation to their attendance at the Emergency Department in UHL between April 18th and April 22nd last. The data in question was extracted from an automated system used in the ED to dispense medication safely, according to a statement issued by the group. It was taken, without HSE knowledge or approval, by an employee of a company, which was then supporting this system; and not by any HSE employee. This information was published online in the form of a file linked from a Twitter account. This file contained personal data including patients’ names, date of birth and the names of medications dispensed while they were in the ED. The medications were primarily painkillers and antibiotics. The group became aware of the breach …

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Pandemic safeguards to remain in place at UHL ED

SUSPECTED Covid-19 patients continue to be segregated from those who don’t have the disease, a local consultant in emergency medicine has confirmed. Dr Gareth Quin, Lead Consultant in Emergency Medicine for UL Hospitals’ Group has outlined the new processes that are in place in the ED at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) to combat Covid-19: As soon as a person registers in the department, Dr Quin explained they are asked to put on a facemask, if their face is not already covered. The new triage, assessment and admission processes will continue for the duration of the pandemic, along with the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) by staff in the ED, and, in line with the guidance of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), the requirement for patients to wear a facial covering. “UHL recognise that for many people the sight of hospital staff in PPE may be disconcerting and the requirement to wear a facial covering may not …

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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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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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concern over lack of services for people with diabetes

  THE lack of access for Clare people with diabetes to their specialist care teams is creating additional anxiety, according to a local diabetes advocate. Gráinne Flynn, who has Type One Diabetes, has expressed grave misgivings about the contents of a national HSE press release in relation to diabetes. In fact, the Ennis-based diabetes blogger admitted she was very upset by it as members of the Clare and Limerick Adults with Type One diabetes group have been expressing concerns about the adult diabetes service provided by UL Hospitals’ Group well before Covid-19 and have now been elevated to serious and extremely worrying. “This press release is completely tone deaf to the fact that it is the service that is continuously cancelling diabetes appointments since the service resumed in July. “The service seems to be operating only as face to face consultations. We can only assume that the staffing levels don’t allow for telephone consultations as many of the other clinics …

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Oireachtas members concerned over threat of nurses’s industrial action

FEARS have been expressed about the serious implications any strike at University Hospital Limerick will have on patient care following the decision of the INMO to ballot for industrial action. Deputy Michael McNamara recalled there have been calls in recent months to reduce overcrowding in UHL and the need to increase medical facilities in smaller hospitals such as and Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals. The chairman of the Covid-19 Special Dáil Committee stressed the time for talking about these improvements was now over and it was time that action is taken to address serious shortcomings in UHL. If necessary, Deputy McNamara said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly should be asked to intervene to prevent the threatened strike. Deputy Violet Anne-Wynne called on Health Minister Donnelly to intervene in a bid to avert the threatened strike. She called for a recruitment campaign in UHL as staff like porters and cleaners are experiencing staff shortages. “I am shocked Minister Donnelly hasn’t stepped in already …

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Diabetes advocate highlights deficits in service

  THE lack of access for people with diabetes to their specialist care teams is creating additional anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a local diabetes advocate. Gráinne Flynn, who has Type One Diabetes, has expressed grave misgivings about the contents of a national HSE press release in relation to diabetes. In fact, the Ennis-based diabetes blogger admitted she was very upset by it as members of the Clare and Limerick Adults with Type One diabetes group have been expressing concerns about the adult diabetes service provided by UL Hospitals’ Group well before Covid-19 and have now been elevated to serious and extremely worrying. “This press release is completely tone deaf to the fact that it is the service that is continuously cancelling diabetes appointments since the service resumed in July. “The service seems to be operating only as face to face consultations. We can only assume that the staffing levels don’t allow for telephone consultations as many of …

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