Record-breaking 81 patients on trolleys at region’s main hospital

University Hospital Limerick

The region’s main hospital has recorded the highest-ever daily figure of patients waiting on trolleys.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 81 people are waiting for a bed at University Hospital Limerick (UHL), less than a week after a 17-bed ward was closed to facilitate works on a new fracture unit.

Of those, 52 patients were on trolleys in the region’s only 24-hour emergency department, with a further 29 people awaiting a bed in various wards throughout the Dooradoyle-based facility.

Following this, UL Hospitals Group has appealed to members of the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the emergency department at UHL.

A spokesperson for the group confirmed that there has been a surge in presentations to emergency departments around the country in recent days.

“The ED at UHL is currently managing high volumes of patients including significant volumes of frail elderly patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs,” said the UL Hospitals Group spokesperson.

“UL Hospitals apologises for any inconvenience caused to patients or their loved ones who have experienced long wait times in the ED at UHL, and we would like to reassure patients and their families that we are working to alleviate the situation.

“Members of the public are urged to consider all their care options at this time and not to attend the emergency department unless necessary.” 

People in Clare are being encouraged to avail of the local Injury Unit in Ennis Hospital which is open for appropriate injuries.

Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday, and 8am to 6pm from Monday to Friday at St. John’s Hospital in Limerick.

“Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.

“However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.”

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