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UHL Medical Facility Serving North Tipp. Threatened With Enforcement Action

University Hospital Limerick (UHL) the medical facility serving patients across north Co. Tipperary, was warned that “enforcement action” would be taken by the Limerick Fire Authority, should trolley numbers not be reduced in the hospital’s emergency department.

UHL received this warning back in late March of this year, when it received correspondence that such action would be considered by the Fire Authority should trolley numbers exceed the regarded safe number of 29 patients; latter stated in the Fire Safety Notice issued on December 3rd, 2018.

This previously undisclosed information and warning of enforcement action, was revealed in correspondence between Ms Collette Cowan (UHL CEO) and Mr Michael Ryan (Limerick’s Chief Fire Officer) and published publicly by UHL only yesterday, following requests by journalists under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI).

Questions must now be asked, by our Tipperary elected representatives, as to whether Fine Gael politician and Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris was made fully made aware of this correspondence and why rural patients using this facility were kept in the dark.

If Mr Harris was aware of this enforcement action, surely the now deselected Fine Gael candidate and Wexford business woman Ms Verona Murphy, in her claim, that Health Minister Mr Simon Harris is “one of the worst ministers for health ever”, must be fully vindicated.

Once again, the silence is deafening.


Holiday Opening Hours At Liberty Pharmacy, Thurles Over Christmas

Holiday Opening Hours
Liberty Pharmacy, No. 43 Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Sunday – December 22nd, —— 11:00am – 6:00pm.
Monday – December 23rd, —— 8:30am – 6:00pm.
Christmas Eve – December 24th, —— 8:30am – 5:00pm.
CHRISTMAS DAY – December 25th, —— CLOSED.
St. Stephens Day – December 26th, —— 11:00 – 4:00.
Friday – December 27th, —— 11:00am – 4:00pm.
Saturday – December 28th, —— 9:00am – 6:00pm.
Sunday – December 29th, —— CLOSED.
Monday – December 30th, —— 9:00am – 6:00pm.
New Year’s Eve – December 31st, —— 9:00am – 6:00pm.
Thursday – January 2nd —— 9:00am – 6:00pm.

Normal Hours will resume from herein.

Proprietor Kate Kennedy and all Staff at Liberty Pharmacy, No.34 Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, would like to take this opportunity to wish all their customers a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous and Healthy New Year.


Today 106 People Wait For A Bed In Tipperary Hospitals

Some 614 patients are being treated on trolleys at hospitals across the 26 counties of Ireland this morning, all waiting for beds to become available.

Some 433 patients are waiting in emergency department, while 181 other patients are in wards, spread elsewhere in affected hospitals.

As usual, University Hospital Limerick, serving north Tipperary, whose staff remain under intolerable pressure; are once again the worst affected with 74 people awaiting beds. Clonmel General Hospital, latter serving the needs of South Tipperary, have 32 patients on trolley’s awaiting beds, according to figures supplied by INMO Trolly Watch.

In all, over 17.26 % of all patients nationally, who are without a bed this morning, are to be found located, waiting in hospitals supposedly serving the people of Tipperary.


EPA Finds River Water Quality Deteriorating

Assessment shows only 53% of our surface water bodies here in Ireland have satisfactory water quality.

Thurles.Info, over the past number of years, has continuously highlighted the deliberate neglect and permitted deterioration, by Irish Water and Tipperary Co. Council, of water quality flowing in the river Suir, through Thurles town.

River Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Now the EPA have today published the report for the five-year period 2013-2018.

The key findings are:
(1) Some 92% of groundwater bodies, 80% of coastal waters, 53% of rivers, 50% of lakes and 38% of estuaries were found to be of satisfactory quality.
(2) Since the last full assessment, however, river water quality has disimproved, with a net decline of 5.5% (128 water bodies) in the status of river water bodies.
(3) We are continuing to see a loss of the pristine river water bodies. There are now just 20 pristine river sites; same down from over 500 sites in the late 1980’s.
(4) The number of seriously polluted river water bodies (the ‘worst of the worst’) has started to rise; from 6 to 9 after many years of an improving trend.
(5) The number of fish kills increased to 40 in 2018, following a historic low of 14 in 2017. It is likely that the hot summer and low flow conditions in 2018 had an impact on this.

Commenting on the assessment, EPA Director Matt Crowe said:
“Ireland has made commitments to protect and improve water quality, under the Water Framework Directive and the National River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021. The aim of European and National Water Policy is to get polluted waters clean again, and ensure clean waters are kept clean.
However, the findings of this report indicate that water quality is getting worse after a period of relative stability and improvement. We now have an increase in the number of the most polluted river sites, and the number of rivers in poor ecological health is also increasing. Positive trends reported previously by the EPA have reversed. Not only are we failing to improve overall water quality, we are also failing to prevent further deterioration of our rivers.”

The main significant pressures impacting water quality in Ireland include agriculture, wastewater discharges, impacts to the physical habitat conditions including excess sediment (hydromorphology), and pressures from forestry activities. Of particular concern in the most recent assessment is the increase in nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) finding their way into our water bodies. Agriculture and waste water are the main sources of nutrients. Over a quarter of river sites monitored have increasing nutrient levels and nutrient loads to the marine environment have also increased.

Concluding, Ms Mary Gurrie, (Water Programme Manager) said:
“The overall increase in nutrient concentrations is a worrying development for our water quality. These excess nutrients come from human activities, predominantly our farms and waste water. We need to address the sources and the pathways by which these nutrients make their way into our rivers and lakes. Good water quality is essential for out health and well-being. The National River Basin Management Plan sets out a programme of measures to protect and improve water quality. It is essential that the measures required are implemented in order to avoid further deterioration and achieve the good water quality which people expect.”

The report Water Quality in Ireland 2013-2018 is now available on the EPA website and the accompanying data used in the water quality assessments are available HERE. An infographic is also available.


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.