The Midwest Hospitals Campaign say they’re hopeful an expert group looking into overcrowding issues at University Hospital Limerick may advise on reopening further A&E departments across the region.
It’s after elected representatives officially called on the UL Hospitals Group to reverse the closure of ED’s in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s Hospitals.
Members of the Regional Health Forum West – including Councillors in Clare – yesterday officially signed off on a motion recognising that the ‘reconfiguration’ strategy of centralising services to UHL back in 2009 had failed.
It’s the latest in a round of calls for overcrowding to be urgently addressed at the region’s main hospital, following a protest in Ennis by the Midwest Hospitals Campaign last weekend.
University Hospital Limerick has been consistently the most overcrowded hospital in the country in recent times, with an all-time record of 126 patients waiting for a bed set in Dooradoyle last month.
That number stands at 80 as of this morning according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, which is nearly three dozen higher than the next busiest facility in the country.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly’s asked an expert group to look into the matter, with a report expected to come across his desk in the next number of weeks.
A leading member of the Midwest Hospitals Campaign says while she doesn’t know the remit of the group, she’s hopeful it may address issues in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s.
Ballyvaughan native and former general election candidate Noeleen Moran claims reopening some services in those facilities can be a significant step to addressing overcrowding in UHL.
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Meanwhile, there are fresh calls in Clare for extra hospital beds to be added in tandem with an extra emergency department to healthcare provisions in the Midwest region.
A new 96-bed block at UHL has now gone through a tender process, with construction expected to take 18 months once a selected contractor gets on site.
Lahinch-based Green Party Councillor Liam Grant, himself a trained paramedic, says current conditions are difficult for staff and patients alike.
Listen back to the full interview here.