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Tag Archives: University Hospital Limerick

Waiting lists soar by 40% due to “catastrophic” Covid-19 impact

THE “catastrophic” impact of Covid-19 on Mid-West health services came sharply into focus this week with confirmation the number of public inpatients waiting for treatment has soared by almost 40%. New figures published by the National Purchase Treatment Fund have revealed the number of public inpatients waiting for treatment jumped by almost 40% from 4,798 on January 30 to 6,676 on October 30. This includes 2,266 inpatients waiting for treatment at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and 621 in Ennis Hospital. The numbers on the outpatient list also grew by 16% from 47,184 in January to 54,759 in October. There are 42,777 outpatients in UHL, 7,235 in Croom, 2,026 in Ennis, 1,296 in Nenagh and 1,425 in St John’s Hospital waiting for treatment. Deputy Michael McNamara described the increase as “alarming but not surprising” in view of the cancellation of elective surgery. “I raised the issue of health services with the HSE and with former Health Minister Simon Harris in the …

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Elective surgery resumes at UHL and Ennis Hospital next Tuesday

  OUTPATIENT and elective surgery will resume at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and Ennis Hospital next Tuesday, the UL Hospitals’ Group announced on Friday. The group explained the cancellation of surgery was necessary for patient and staff safety while both hospitals have been managing a number of outbreaks of Covid-19. During this time, six wards in UHL were closed to admissions. In addition, some 221 staff across the group were off work and self-isolating due to Covid-19. Meanwhile, the Outbreak Control Teams established in both locations has continued to work closely with public health and occupational health colleagues, in accordance with HPSC guidance, to contain the virus and protect all the patients and staff in our hospitals. Contact tracing and testing of staff has been ongoing, and all appropriate infection control measures have been implemented to mitigate the risk. On Friday, the Group’s Hospital Crisis Management Team decided to extend the service curtailments at UHL and Ennis for just one …

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Deputy McNamara Seeks Opening Date For 60-bed Block

CONCERN has been expressed about the lack of a definitive opening date for a new €19.5 million 60- bed block modular unit to tackle overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) after a government minister recently pledged it would be operational at this stage. 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”. In fact, Minister Butler praised all those involved on their hard work and patience in seeing the much-needed additional capacity for University Hospital Limerick come to fruition. She also thanked Senator Martin Conway for his constructive approach as she was aware he had raised this issue many times. “The Government is committed to developing acute hospital services and infrastructure. University Hospital Limerick is an integral part of the University of Limerick hospital group, providing hospital services and care to the populations of Limerick, …

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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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Only Four Extra ICU Beds at University Hospital Limerick

THE number of critical care beds in University Hospital Limerick to treat seriously ill non-Covid-19 and Covid-19 patients has only increased by four, a hospital boss has confirmed. UL Hospitals’ Group chief executive Colette Cowan has revealed there are currently 22 critical care beds in UHL – 12 intensive care and 10 high dependency beds. This represents an increase of four since the start of the year. During the peak of the first wave, the group initiated their critical care surge plan involving training and redeployment of staff, the temporary conversion of other beds in the Critical Care Block into ICU/HDU beds and the procurement of equipment. “The group are currently monitoring matters closely in the event we may need to open critical care surge capacity in the coming weeks. A plan is in place should we need to increase capacity,” she stated. In a recent overview provided for public representatives, Professor Cowan confirmed it is planned to hand back …

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Hospital Doesn’t Confirm Opening Date for €19.5 Million 60-bed Unit

THE UL Hospitals’ Group hasn’t announced a definite opening date for the long-awaited €19.5 million 60-bed ward block at the University Hospital Limerick (UHL), despite a pledge for a government minister it is expected to be in operation by Monday, November 9. A new 60-bed ward modular unit was established to provide a rapid build interim solution to begin to address the bed capacity issue at UHL in response to the National Capacity Review by the Department of Health. The four-storey ward block will provide an additional 60 beds for the hospital, all single patient rooms with ensuites. Additional single rooms will help to improve patient comfort, safety, privacy and dignity and assist with the management of infection control in the hospital. Overcrowding has continued to be a major problem for Clare patients at the hospital, which regularly has the highest number of patients in the country waiting on trolleys. Responding to Clare Champion queries after this issue was raised …

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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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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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