UL group issues an apology after whistleblower reveals that conditions at University Hospital Limerick’s Emergency Department are ‘absolute hell’ – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

UL group issues an apology after whistleblower reveals that conditions at University Hospital Limerick’s Emergency Department are ‘absolute hell’


The group that oversees patient care and hospital standards at Limerick’s three major hospitals, have issued an apology to its patients after they openly admitted that the main Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick is “not fully fit for purpose”.

The apology made by the UL group comes after a report issued by a whistleblower described the conditions in the hospital’s Emergency Department as “completely unacceptable” and it is “absolute hell”.

In the report the inside source revealed that nurses and doctors at the Limerick ED are seeing “on average of 220 patients per day”. The source went onto say: “It’s been absolute hell recently.” “We are constantly down staff and dealing with hundreds of patients.”

They also revealed that a total of 33 patients were waiting at the hospital last Monday, just to see a triage nurse. The further explained: “This was 33 people just waiting to get in,” “The capacity at the hospital for safe numbers of trolleys in the ED is 36, but we had 54 last week,” they also revealed. “It’s horrific.”

Meanwhile in a response to the whsteblower’s report, the UL Hospitals Group admitted the ED in Limerick is “not fully fit for purpose”. The UL group said: “It has long acknowledged that the emergency department at UHL is simply too small for the volumes of patients attending”. “The ED is one of the busiest in the country with approximately 60,000 attendances annually,” “Over the year, this means an average of approximately 160 patients attending daily. Seasonal factors mean that during the winter peak, ED attendances can occasionally exceed 200 per day.”

They also added: “There were, for example, 179 ED attendances between 8am on Thursday, February 18th and 8am on Friday, February 19th.””The total numbers in the ED overnight…rarely exceeds 70 patients.”

The UL group also acknowledged that “breaches of Patient Expectant Times…were, along with every major acute hospital in the country…all too regular an occurrence.” However they did reinforce the fact that, “a new state-of-the-art emergency department, that will triple the size of the current department, is currently being fitted out and will open in the first quarter of 2017.”

The group also said it had taken extreme measures to try to tackle the crisis in the Limerick ED, which included, “increasing (overall) bed capacity at by over 40 in the last two months; hiring additional staff; additional ward rounds to facilitate earlier discharge or transfer where appropriate.

Meanwhile management at the hospital also said they fully “apologise” to all their patients for the ongoing situation at the University Hospital Limerick’s Emergency Department.

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