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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.


Rural Ireland Once More Left Without Proper Medical Facilities

This Monday morning, November 25th 2019, University Hospital Limerick has, as accuratly forecast, set a new national overcrowding record, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). 

The INMO state that there are 85 patients being treated on trolleys in UHL’s Dooradoyle emergency department and in its associated wards. In South Tipperary General Hospital, serving South Tipperary, some 24 patients are without a bed.

For the third time in the last 12 months, UHL, servicing the medical requirements of the residence of North Tipperary, has set new records and the fourth instance since back in 2012.

Despite the best efforts of local staff, this situation in Limerick continues to escalate. The previous record was set on October 2nd 2019, with 82 patients on trolleys; again, on April 2rd /3rd with 81 patients on trolleys, matching that same record on July 11th, September 23rd and on October 2nd.

The silence remains deafening; the continuous inaction demonstrates sheer abandonment by Councillors and Politicians


Junior Cert Resource Pack On Reducing Food Waste

Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland publishes Junior Cert resource pack on reducing food waste to tackle climate change.

The EPA have produced an educational resource pack to support over 20,000 Junior Certificate students to learn about sustainable living through the Home Economics curriculum.

Reducing food waste is one of the most effective actions we can take to address climate change. The resource pack is to be used by Home Economics teachers to engage students on food waste prevention. The pack supports the new Junior Cycle Curriculum and is available to all post-primary schools across the country. You can download the RESOURCE PACK HERE.

Ms Laura Burke, (EPA Director General), has statedsaid:
With over 200,000 tonnes of food waste generated in Irish homes every year, it is clear that we need to change how we manage our food from shopping – to storage – to cooking. The participation of teachers in the development of this resource ensures that it is of a high standard and relevant to the curriculum.”

The pack is a valuable resource for Home Economics Teachers and provides information and tools to teach students about food waste prevention and its important link to climate change. The pack contains an introduction for teachers; posters & handouts with attractive images and activity pages on planning & grocery shopping, food storage, cooking & preserving.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Mr Richard Bruton T.D has welcomed the resource, stating:

“Managing our resources properly is crucial to securing a better, more sustainable Ireland for future generations. We know that 70% of food waste is avoidable and that this costs Irish households approximately €700 per year and contributes significantly to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.
This resource is a useful tool for teachers and will help students understand the importance of reducing food waste. It includes a number of practical steps, such as planning meals, making shopping lists, using proper storage methods etc, that students can apply in their own lives.

More broadly, we must do more to bring climate action into the classroom. Curriculum must reflect the importance of this issue and promote informed understanding. The Climate Action Plan commits to the development of new short course on climate action for Junior Cycle. It is crucial that our young people are informed and engage with, what is the biggest challenge of their generation.”

Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh TD has also welcomed the resource:

“Educating our students about Sustainable Development is key to ensuring responsible citizenship into the future. This resource promotes the active participation by young people in preventing food waste, which will positively impact on us, our children and future generations.”

Speaking at the launch of the resource at the annual conference of the Association for Home Economics Teachers, Ms Amanda McCloat (Head of the Home Economics Department at St. Angela’s College) said:

“This is a very useful resource for teachers. We are delighted to have been involved in the review process. Home Economics education empowers students with practical food literacy skills which are essential in helping to combat the problem of food waste.”

The resource was developed through the EPA-led Local Authority Prevention Network and is a collaboration between Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Roscommon County Council, Mayo County Council, VOICE Ireland and St. Angela’s College, Sligo.


Hypocrisy Personified

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” [Isaiah Chapter 29 – Verse13.]

Hypocrisy – The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is really the case.

Readers will remember that in early July 2019, Ireland’s High Court granted Tipperary Co. Council an injunction, compelling members of the Travelling Community to vacate an area where their halting site was regarded as “constituting a public danger” to themselves and others. Another more serious, yet similar Health & Safety issue has once again reoccurred in our Cathedral Town.

I refer, of course, to the ever moving pedestrian crossing / traffic lights, outside of Thurles Cathedral. Here again, same busy crossing is “constituting a public danger” to over 600 school children, as they attempt to cross twice daily, getting to and from rural school buses, not to mention the several hundred church pilgrims and local shoppers; all pedestrians, going about their daily business here in Thurles, each day.

Pedestrian Crossing, on Cathedral Street Thurles, once again struck by a high-sided vehicle. [Picture taken on November 15th 2019, G. Willoughby]

We here at Thurles.Info have highlighted the issue of the constantly moving pedestrian crossing traffic lights, outside of Thurles Cathedral, at least five times in all, first on February 1st, 2018. [Almost one year and ten months ago.]

The problems associated did not need the benefit /advice of a qualified County Council Engineer. It was obvious to the dogs currently permitted to fowl our streets, that when two high sided trucks attempt to pass in a narrow space, then such manoeuvres are bound to result in something being adjusted. On this present occasion even the steel pole supporting these traffic lights has now become somewhat curved from its original and previous straight condition.

This issue, we highlighted once again, on July 16th, 2018; and yes, readers will recall that we highlighted this same problem for the third time on January 22nd, 2019.

On April 2nd, 2019, we highlighted this topic yet again, rightly accusing Tipperary Co. Council of wasting rate payers money.

On September 10th 2019, we did not highlight this problem, in the real fear that our readers would think that we were suffering from paranoia.

Today however, November 16th, 2019, in view of recent High Court actions relating to several Health & Safety issues, each constituting a public danger, here in Thurles, we feel we should draw attention to this serious concern one more time, before someone has to be scraped off our Cathedral Street pedestrian crossing.

We are well aware by now that our Templemore /Thurles Municipal district councillors are totally powerless, but in the case where same Councillors have now been made aware, once again, of this issue; keep in mind that the above photo and web post will enable compensation costs to be more easily collected from Tipperary Co. Council. After all, they were and are fully aware of this ever present danger.

Time now, after almost two years of continuous repairs, to finally move these offending traffic lights to a safer distance, apart from each other and to pursue the need for that long awaited Thurles Ring Road, thus removing 21st century, 18-wheeler, freight-carrying-trucks from our 12th century, narrow streets.

Having been completely failed by our current Fine Gael minority government and their supporters, with regard to the promised Thurles Ring Road, one wonders why we are presently bothering to up-grade Liberty Square next year or whenever.


120 Patients Without Hospital Beds In Co. Tipperary

Elected Tipperary politicians have turned a deaf ear, when it comes to matters affecting, in particular Limerick University Hospital; latter medical facility currently struggling to service the needs of their patients.

Time has now come for yet another failed Minister for Health, currently Mr Simon Harris, to resign in the certain knowledge that he and his misguided liberal-conservative Fine Gael minority colleagues, have failed once more, the people of North Tipperary.

Two hospitals serving Co. Tipperary; namely South Tipp General Hospital, Clonmel and Limerick University Hospital, have both topped daily trolley figures today, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

These figures confirm that a total of 120 patients are without beds across both Tipperary Hospitals. Seventy patients are without suitable supports in Limerick, while another 50 patients exist in similar circumstances in Clonmel.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation today (Thursday 7/11/2019) there are 604 patients, in total, waiting for beds in hospitals nationally.