UHL issue plea to consider all care options with A&E “at capacity”

Photo © Pat Flynn

Management at University Hospital Limerick have issued a plea to consider all care options, with a Consultant saying their A&E is at capacity.

Around 280 presentations have been made at the ED in Limerick on both Monday and Tuesday, about 80 more than the pre-pandemic daily average.

People with less urgent complaints are urged to consider contacting Local Injuries Units, day and out-of-hours GP services and pharmacists where possible.

Dr Joe Kelly, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, UL Hospitals Group, said:

“In common with colleagues in emergency medicine across the country, the Emergency Department here in University Hospital Limerick is managing very high numbers of emergency presentations and admissions, of a level rarely experienced here, even before the pandemic.

“On Monday of this week, alone, there were 280 presentations to ED — that’s 85 more than the average attendance in the last full year before the pandemic. In short, we’re at capacity, and all staff are working to ensure our patients are provided with safe care, and that emergency healthcare is prioritised for the significant numbers of people who need these services most urgently right now,” Dr Kelly said.

He added: “We urge people to continue attending ED for suspected heart attacks and strokes and other serious illnesses or accidents. Anyone who has a less serious injury is going to experience delays, so we’re asking them to consider all the healthcare alternatives to GP where that’s appropriate.”

As well as a high proportion of complex unwell medical patients, UHL is also prioritising urgent, time-critical and emergency surgery.

Management are reminding members of the public that their Injury Units, including in Nenagh, are open seven days a week, including bank holiday Monday. Injury Units in Ennis Hospital and Nenagh Hospital are open from 8am to 8pm and St John’s Hospital from 8am to 7pm.