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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 only. The ED, Acute Surgical Assessment Unit, and Acute Medical Assessment Unit at UHL are not open to visitors.

Scheduled visiting slots are being offered at UHL (during the hours of 2-4pm and 6-9pm daily), and Ennis, Nenagh and Croom Orthopaedic Hospitals (2-4pm and 6-8pm daily). These timed visits are limited to one visitor per patient, in line with public health guidelines on social distancing and infection prevention & control. Visitors will be temperature-checked on entry to all hospital sites, and will be required to wear a face mask, observe hand hygiene, and undertake a Covid-19 questionnaire.

At UHL, the entry point is main reception at the front of the hospital, where temperature monitoring is in place and security staff will assist visitors in checking in.

The hospital group is also appealing to members of the public not to visit their relatives/loved ones outdoors on the grounds of the hospital as this can also present a Covid-19 transmission risk.

Noreen Spillane, Chief Operations Officer, UL Hospitals Group, (ULHG) said: “We are pleased to again be in a position, effective from August 19, to relax these difficult visiting restrictions at UHL. We acknowledge that these restrictions have been particularly hard on our patients and their families. We have made great progress on vaccination and it is encouraging to see continued compliance with the public health guidelines. But while Covid-19 remains in our community, acute hospitals will continue to review visiting and take measures to reduce footfall in clinical areas to protect vulnerable patients and maintain essential services.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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