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All elective activity and outpatient clinics at University Hospital Limerick have been cancelled from Wednesday to Friday of this week in a bid to “de-escalate” the hospital in advance of a predicted busy Bank Holiday weekend.

Activity at other hospitals operated by UL Hospitals Group such as Ennis are not impacted by the decision to cancel all elective activity and outpatient clinics at UHL from Wednesday July 28th to Friday July 30th. Emergency care will also continue.

A spokesperson said the decision was necessary to manage risk and stabilise the UHL site in advance of what is anticipated to be a busy Bank Holiday weekend.

Directly affected patients are to be contacted directly by UL Hospitals Group and are to be rescheduled. “We are approaching the mid-point of another successive week of exceptionally high attendances at our ED, which reflects the picture at emergency departments in hospitals across the country”.

In the 24-hour period to 8am this morning (Tuesday), 265 patients attended the department. This is far in excess of the 195 average attendances the ED recorded in 2019, the last full year pre-pandemic.

This followed a weekend in which attendances were far above the average attendances for the equivalent period in 2019. On Saturday, there were 207 attendances, and on Sunday, 185. The average attendance on Saturday and Sunday during July of 2019 was approximately 157.

UHL continues to work to its Escalation Plan, which includes additional ward rounds, accelerating discharges and identifying patients for transfer to Model 2 hospitals.

“We expect that the ED will remain busy and we remind members of the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the department. Injury units in Ennis and Nenagh are open from 8am to 8pm, and St John’s is open from 8am to 7pm. 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. Members of the public with a less serious illness can 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,” the spokesperson added.

“We apologise to any patient affected by the temporary cancellation of our elective and outpatient services, and to anyone who has experienced a long wait for admission to UHL during this period of exceptionally high demand for our services”.

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