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All outpatient clinics and elective surgeries at UHL and St John’s resume this Thursday, October 21

[OCTOBER 20th, 2021]

UL Hospitals Group is resuming with effect from this Thursday morning all outpatient clinics and elective surgery at University Hospital Limerick and St John’s Hospital, bringing to an end the deferral of non-urgent activity on the sites.

Anyone who has an appointment in the Outpatients Department at UHL, or for elective surgery at UHL or St John’s Hospital, should attend as scheduled.

UL Hospitals Group is working to reschedule at the earliest opportunity all patients who were impacted by this week’s temporary closures.

While the decision to cancel the activity this week was taken in the interests of the safety of patients and staff in both hospitals, the Group regrets and apologises for the impact the deferrals will have had on patients and their families and loved ones this week.

UHL continues to manage an extraordinarily high level of emergency presentations, and the Group renews its appeal to the public to consider all available care options at this time of such high demand by seriously ill patients for our emergency services.

We ask the public also to note that the visiting restrictions introduced at UHL in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital, remain in place for now. These restrictions are outlined here. As of today, Wednesday, there are 43 COVID-positive patients in the hospital, of which eight are in critical care, either in our Intensive Care or High Dependency Units.

The hospital’s Emergency Department continues to be exceptionally busy. So far in October, there has been an average of 246 attendances at ED on weekdays, approximately 26% greater than the daily average of 195 emergency presentations recorded in 2019, the last full year pre-pandemic. The trend of high emergency presentations and admissions has been sustained for a number of months, in the Mid-West and in hospitals across the country

We continue to work to all elements of our Escalation Plan, including additional ward rounds, accelerating discharges and identifying patients for transfer to our Model 2 hospitals. We are also working with our colleagues in HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare, in order to expedite discharges. However, it should be noted that patients being admitted to UHL at this time are generally very sick with complex conditions, and require longer inpatient stays to recover.

Anyone who attends the ED with minor injuries at this time—such as suspected broken bones, cuts, bruises, sprains and strains—will be redirected to the Injury Units in Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s for treatment. Full information on the range of services that are available in our Injury Units is available the HSE website here. Anyone with less serious illnesses or conditions at this time is asked to first consult their local pharmacists or to contact their GPs or out-of-hours GP services, before attending the ED at UHL. Patients attending the ED can expect to experience long delays.

However, we want to reassure the people of the Mid-West that anyone who is seriously injured or ill, or worried that their lives may be at risk, or who needs emergency treatment for heart attacks, strokes and other serious illnesses, will be treated as a priority, 24/7, in the Emergency Department at UHL.

We apologise to any patient who has experienced a long wait for admission to UHL during this period of exceptionally high demand for our services.