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Reductions in Scheduled Care at UHL and Storm Barra Update

(LIMERICK 08.12.2021)

ALL outpatient appointments and the majority of elective procedures have been deferred at University Hospital Limerick this Wednesday, December 8th, as the hospital deals with a sustained surge in emergency activity.

Services at all other hospitals in the Group – University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital - are operating as scheduled with patients advised to attend for their appointments. This follows considerable disruption in hospital services across the MidWest on Tuesday, December 7th, as a result of Storm Barra. Our Covid-19 vaccination centres at Limerick (Scoil Carmel), Ennis (Ennis Hospital) and Nenagh (Abbey Court Hotel) are also running as normal this Wednesday.

Patients who are directly affected by these cancellations at UHL are being contacted by staff and will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.

We regret the decision to postpone scheduled care at UHL today but this measure is provided for in the hospital’s escalation plan at times of heightened demand. Our focus now is on operating essential services for our sickest patients and on providing emergency care.

Services at UHL which are unaffected by the cancellations include:

  • Cancer services (including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and outpatient clinics)
  • Rapid access cancer clinics (breast, lung, prostate)
  • Dialysis
  • Emergency and time-critical surgery

The Emergency Department at UHL remains extremely busy with high attendances, including many frail elderly patients with complex medical needs.

Patients with less urgent injuries and conditions can expect long waits if they attend at our Emergency Department today.

We reiterate our advice to members of the public to consider all available care options before presenting to the ED. Injury units in Ennis and Nenagh are open from 8am to 8pm, and in St John’s from 8am to 7pm, seven days a week. Injury Units are for the treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns. More information on our Injury Units is available here. Anyone with less serious illness or conditions should contact their GPs or out-of-hours GP services. However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.

Noreen Spillane, Chief Operations Officer, UL Hospitals Group, said: ““We regret that we are again curtailing scheduled care at University Hospital Limerick. This is not a decision we are taking lightly and we are doing so in order prioritise care for our sickest patients. We will reschedule all affected patients as soon as possible.”