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15 Ambulances Queued Outside ED At University Hospital Limerick Yesterday.

Surely, Tipperary politicians could find at least one of their highly paid personal assistants, working from home, with the ability to write even a short paragraph, highlighting the current major difficulties being experienced at University Hospital Limerick.

For example, this would allow Teachtaí Dála, like Mr J. Cahill or Mr M. Lowry to communicate their characteristic explosive spitting and choking noises in Dáil Éireann, in the weeks ahead, and more importantly be caught on TV.

I say this in the knowledge that sources within the ambulance service, confirm that at least 15 ambulances were queued-up outside the Emergency Department (ED) at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

Same delays, we understand, were due to high levels of patient overcrowding. Yesterday also, there were 81 patients waiting for a bed in the hospital serving North Tipperary, recorded in daily figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

All 24-hour Emergency department services in the Midwest Region were in the past reconfigured into University Hospital Limerick and yesterday sources confirmed that there were not enough trolleys to allow incoming patients to be handed over to hospital staff.

It is widely acknowledged that pressure in UHL could be greatly reduced if 24-hour emergency departments in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, in Ennis, Co. Clare and St. John’s in Limerick city were re-opened.
UHL has a current catchment area containing over 400,000 people and is almost daily, consistently the most overcrowded hospital within the Irish State.

Last month the INMO called on the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) to investigate overcrowding at the medical facility.

On January 25th, the nurses’ union confirmed it recorded 97 patients without a bed at the hospital, latter the highest number recorded in any Irish hospital since the union began compiling trolley figures.

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