The level of overcrowding at the region’s main hospital has inched closer to record levels today, with 78 patients left waiting on trolleys this morning.
As a result, the UL Hospitals Group is urging people to consider all their care options before attending University Hospital Limerick.
It comes as Clare County Council is calling for a “regional assembly” with the local authorities in Limerick and Tipperary, to discuss the persistent issues with the Midwest’s hospital system.
The level of overcrowding at Dooradoyle has been steadily climbing this week, and today, trolley numbers have reached near record levels.
The latest INMO figures show 78 patients were left waiting on trolleys there this morning, 47 of those in the emergency department alone.
It’s the highest in the country, and one of the highest figures recorded there in recent weeks.
The UL Hospitals Group says high volumes of patients presenting at the ED and an increased number of delayed discharges is to blame, and is apologising for any inconvenience cause to patients and their loved ones.
They’re asking people not to attend the ED unless it’s an emergency and to consider all of their care options before attending the ED, such as your GP or GP out-of-hours service or the Injury Unit at Ennis General Hospital.
It comes as Clare County Council is to seek a “regional assembly” with their counterparts in Limerick and Tipperary to address the crisis in the Midwest.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cathal Crowe is one of a number of Councillors who signed his name to a motion calling for this grouping at this week’s monthly meeting.
The Councillors also want the Health Minister to make unannounced visits to UHL and Ennis General and for the A&E in Ennis to reopen on a 24/7 basis.
Independent Barefield Councillor Ann Norton is hopeful that a joined up approach will make a difference.
The Mayor of Ennis is concerned about the ability of the region’s hospitals to cope in the event of a major emergency and says local representatives will continue to reflect public concern on this matter.
Councillor Johnny Flynn thinks the site of St. Joseph’s Hospital, which will soon be vacant after its upgrade, would be ideal for a new Model 3 Hospital, including the return of full A & E care.