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UL Hospitals Group Statement on Emergency Department and Alternative Care Options

(LIMERICK: 04/03/2023) UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick (UHL) is currently experiencing extremely high demand and we are appealing to the public to consider all care options before presenting at our Emergency Department.

We have been caring for an exceptionally high number of unwell medical patients in the hospital, and the Emergency Department has seen its highest week of emergency presentations since the beginning of the year (1,716 to 8am this morning, a daily average of 245 patients).

UHL is currently at its highest state of escalation, surge capacity has been opened at UHL and across our hospitals. Scheduled activity across all sites has been deferred for tomorrow (Tuesday) and will remain under review, with only urgent and time-critical patients, including cancer patients, going ahead.

The Emergency Department remains open 24/7 and urgent care is being delivered to those who need it most. Anyone who comes to ED who doesn’t have a life-threatening or severe illness or injury will face a significant wait.

We apologise to anyone who has had a long wait for admission to University Hospital Limerick in recent days, and to all who have been impacted by deferrals of surgery

We encourage the public across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary to make use of all available alternatives to ED, including local pharmacies for minor ailments; family doctors and out-of-hours GP services; and the Injury Units at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s Hospitals (See ‘Notes for Editors’, below).

It is encouraging to see the increased demand for Injury Units and Medical Assessment Units in our Model 2 hospitals, as more patients choose alternatives to ED.

We thank the public for their patience at this time of exceptionally high demand for hospital services, and ask them to continue supporting us in ensuring emergency care is prioritised for the sickest, most seriously injured and frailest patients.

Notes for Editors:

Choosing appropriate care

Everyone in the area can help reduce pressure on the ED by considering all the options available to them if they need medical attention. These are listed those below.

However, the public should be assured that anyone who is seriously injured or ill, or worried their life may be at risk, will be assessed for treatment in the Emergency Department as a priority.

Where should people go for care?

We ask everyone in the area to understand the available care options and to avoid the ED except in cases of severe or life-threatening illness or injury.

This will really help us prioritise urgent care for those who need it most. At the same time, you’ll be treated in a fraction of the time you would have spent at the ED.

For breaks, burns and other minor injuries

Injury Units treat broken bones, dislocations, sprains strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns. They are open seven days a week in:

  • Ennis, 065 686 3121, V95 HN29: 8am to 8pm
  • Nenagh, 067 42311, E45 PT86: 8am to 8pm
  • St John’s, Limerick, 061 462 222, V94 H272: 8am to 7pm.

For other less serious illness or conditions

Contact your GP or out-of-hours GP services or talk to your local pharmacist.


If you have a medical issue that requires urgent attention, call Shannondoc on Lo-call 0818 123500 or on 061 459500 (Operating hours: Monday – Friday 6pm to 8am; Weekends and Public holidays Open 24 hours)

How can I get updates?

Please check @HSELive and @ULHospitals on Twitter/X or hse.iefor the latest and most reliable news.