Skip to main content

Reductions in Scheduled Care Remain in Force As Major Internal Incident at UHL Stood Down

  • Day surgery remains cancelled at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s Hospita
  • Only emergency and trauma surgery taking place at UHL this week
  • Temporary Seven-Day Opening of Nenagh and St John’s Medical Assessment Units

(LIMERICK 10.01.2023): SIGNIFICANT reductions in scheduled care are to remain in force across UL Hospitals Group this week as the major internal incident declared on January 2nd is stood down.

Extraordinary measures taken across the group and in the community have helped reduced the extreme levels of overcrowding seen early last week at the Emergency Department at UHL.

However, all our hospitals are operating above capacity and staff remain on high alert amid a surge of respiratory infection in the community that has not yet reached its peak.

The Hospital Crisis Management Team continues to meet twice daily seven days a week. However, the major internal incident was stood down by UL Hospitals Group CEO Prof Colette Cowan on Monday, January 9th.

Day surgery at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s hospitals remains cancelled until the end of this week as the day wards in these hospitals have been designated as surge capacity for unwell medical patients.

Reductions in elective surgery at UHL and at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital remain in force. All patients affected by cancellations are being contacted directly by staff.

Outpatient appointments are going ahead as scheduled on all sites this week and patients are advised to attend.

Croom Orthopaedic Hospital continues to accept medical patients transferring for UHL as well as additional patients for trauma surgery.

As a temporary measure, medical assessment units at St John’s and Nenagh hospitals have moved from a five to a seven-day week to allow for additional GP referrals for medical assessment. Ennis Hospital MAU already operates seven days per week. Members of the public are reminded that patients cannot be seen at our MAUs without a referral.

Additional discharges/transfers from acute hospitals were achieved in the region over the weekend thanks to many additional acute and community staff who have answered the call to move to an enhanced seven-day working model for the duration of this crisis.

We regret that visiting restrictions remain in place at University Hospital Limerick.

The only exceptions to the ban are as follows:

  • Parents visiting children in hospital
  • People assisting confused patients (e.g. dementia)
  • People visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life (on a case-by-case basis)

All these exemptions are limited to one person per patient only.

Relatives or loved ones are advised that a service is in place to drop off or collect patient’s belongings at the main hospital reception.

Regional data shows that the surge in respiratory illness has not yet peaked. This week HSE Public Health Mid-West reported almost 300 cases of RSV in the past four weeks, with a noticeable increase in adult infections. Public Health also reported 968 cases of influenza in the region since December 11th , a level of flu not experienced in the Midwest for many years. COVID-19 infections are also increasing.

There has been a reduction in the numbers presenting to ED in recent days. In spite of this, and the measures taken to ease pressure on the hospital system, services remain under pressure and our advice to the public remains to consider all healthcare options before attending our ED. Patients who are seriously injured or unwell or who are worried their life is in danger must dial 112/999 or attend the ED.

Less acutely unwell patients are asked to first consider our Injury Units, GPs, out-of-hours GP services and pharmacists before attending ED.

Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s are operating as normal. Opening hours for Ennis and Nenagh Injury Units are 8am to 8pm and St John’s Injury Unit 8am to 7pm.

Read more about injury units