UL Hospitals Group Admits Services Will Be Under Pressure In New Year

University Hospital Limerick emergency department

The CEO of the UL Hospitals Group is admitting that hospital services will be under severe pressure in the New Year.

That’s despite the announcement of an additional 1.14 million euro under the HSE’s winter plan

A new 19-bay medical assessment unit and a 17-bed surgical short-stay unit at University Hospital Limerick has been delivered, under the plan.

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Clare FM’s Fiona McGarry reports:

Extended access to acute and emergency hospital services and enhanced community supports for the frail or elderly are at the centre of the joint winter plan for community and acute services in the Mid-West.

Just over 1.1 million euro was announced for University Hospital Limerick under the HSE’s winter plan, which will see the Medical Assessment Unit opened there on a 24/7 basis and the introdution of a 17-bed surgical short-stay unit.

But the CEO of the UL Hospitals Group admits they applied for twice that amount in funding for what was described this morning as a utopian figure.

71,000 patients are expected to have attended the Emergency Department by year end, a 10% rise on 2015 figures, and Colette Cowan says activity is growing year on year.

HSE Midwest Community Healthcare will also be increasing spending by between 750 thousand and 1 million euro over the coming weeks.

Chief Officer Bernard Gloster says the most important message is that people consider their care options during this busy time of year to ensure everyone gets the best care possible.

Meanwhile, nurses say the level of overcrowding at the region’s main hospital is on the rise once again.

The latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show 56 patients were left waiting for beds at University Hospital Limerick this morning, 33 of those on trolleys in the Emergency Department.

The overall figure is 6 more than the next busiest facility and comes on a day when 319 patients have been left waiting to be admitted at hospitals across the country.