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Patients Moved From UHL’s Emergency Dept. Following Surprise Visit By Fire Officer

Patients forced to lie on trolleys have been transferred out of University Hospital Limerick’s (UHL) overcrowded Emergency Department, following an unannounced inspection by Limerick City Fire Authority and Limerick City and Co. Fire & Rescue Service.

A senior fire officer made an unannounced visit at UHL on Tuesday night, after concerns had been raised regarding the number of trolleys located in corridors in their Emergency Department.

On Monday last, November 25 2019 we reported that 85 patients had been recorded on trolleys, of which 55 were in the Emergency Department and 35 others were on wards.

We understand that following the fire officer’s visit, eight patients, without beds, were transferred from the Emergency Department out to a Surgical Assessment Unit, between midnight on Tuesday and 1:00am on this morning.

On average it is fully accepted that people resident in rural areas have to travel three times as far, for most of their everyday services, but here in the case of Thurles, people forced to attend UHL must travel 81km, while elsewhere for the most part, A&E’s are at just 50km from any one base.

The overcrowded conditions within the Limerick facility were regarded as “unsafe” for both patients and those staff attending.

Tipperary elected TD’s, of all political affiliations, need to be fully aware that the people of North Tipperary; latter forced to depend on an under staffed University Hospital Limerick as their medical facility, are no longer amused.

In 2009, despite massive protests and medical advice, all 24-hour emergency department services in Nenagh; Ennis and St. Johns were centralised to University Hospital Limerick, in the case of Thurles, some 1 hour & 20 minutes drive by ambulance.

A €19.5m temporary 60-bed block, currently being built on UHL hospital grounds, is now not expected to be staffed and operational before 2021.

Tipperary politicians have failed, totally, to highlighting the seriousness of UHL’s predicament; choosing instead to fool their electorate, by enhancing personal profiles; through being found photographed standing beside real successful people, and with many failing to even turn up at their place of work, which should be Dáil Éireann.

Perhaps the time has come to borrow a few tractors from local farmers and block the streets of Dublin.

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