13% of UL Hospitals Group staff unavailable due to covid-related reasons

Photo © Pat Flynn

Around 13 percent of staff in the UL Hospitals Group were unavailable for work yesterday due to Covid-related reasons.

The hospital group released the figure, as they confirmed that the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments would continue to be deferred until at least next Friday.

675 staff were unavailable to work across the UL Hospitals Group yesterday, for reasons including positive cases and close contact rules.

That constitutes 13 percent of the workforce across a group which includes University Hospital Limerick and Nenagh Hospital.

In line with national protocols, the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient work at their hospitals is being deferred once again, until next Friday.

Services which continue include the Dialysis unit at UHL, as well as cancer services, paediatric clinics and time-critical outpatient clinics.

Services at University Maternity Hospital Limerick are also unaffected, but there are some visiting restrictions on support partners.

UL Hospitals Group CEO, Colette Cowan has also confirmed that some staff from ‘Model 2’ hospitals, including Nenagh, have been redeployed to keep essential services running at the maternity and general hospitals in Limerick.

She’s praised staff for responding with professionalism and dedication to continue providing care to the sickest patients.

Services which continue include:

– Dialysis (UHL)
– Acute Fracture Clinic (UHL)
– Cancer services (oncology and haematology day ward; haematology and oncology OPD clinics; medical oncology clinics; rapid access clinics)
– Other outpatient clinics: Time-critical only following clinical decision, with patients being contacted in advance
– Paediatric clinics
– Ante-natal clinic; colposcopy clinic; diabetes in pregnancy clinic; elective c-sections and induction of labour (UMHL)

While services at University Maternity Hospital Limerick are unaffected, an outbreak of Covid-19 and high levels of community transmission mean the temporary restrictions on access to our inpatient wards for nominated support partners must for now remain in place.

Access for nominated support partners to our inpatient wards at UMHL is limited to one two-hour slot per day between the hours of 2pm and 8pm.

These slots will be co-ordinated at ward level by our staff, who will link directly with service users and nominated support partners.

Nominated support partners can continue to attend for the labour ward, theatre, certain scan appointments, neonatal and other services.

Please see here for further details on access restrictions for UMHL.

These are being reviewed regularly and we are committed to increasing access for partners as soon as possible.

If you do have symptoms of Covid-19, it is important that you do not go to the Emergency Department or your GP. Ring them in advance for advice.

Avoid contact with other people by self-isolating. In a medical emergency if you have severe symptoms, call 112 or 999.