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Ennis Hospital & UHL under ‘significant pressure’ due to staff shortages caused by COVID-19 outbreak

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Both Ennis Hospital and University Hospital Limerick are under considerable pressure with over 100 staff out of work due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Up to 161 members of staff are unavailable at Ennis Hospital and University Hospital Limerick following outbreaks of COVID-19.

Both hospitals were under serious pressure as a result of subsequent staff shortages, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid admitted. “It is significant in terms of staff impact both in terms of some positive cases, and also close contacts, and indeed some patients as well. We are losing a lot of staff on shifts, and it’s causing significant disruption.”

Speaking at Thursday’s Department of Health press briefing, Dr Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Hospitals, HSE confirmed that each of the four hospitals across the country dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 presently have a specific outbreak process and team in place that is either led by the CEO or Clinical Director.

Patients and staff that are symptomatic to COVID-19 are being identified currently with “mass testing” underway. Patients showing symptoms are “cordoned off” and isolated while staff self-isolate at home.

“All outbreaks are being managed appropriately,” Dr Hickey stated. An impact to service delivery has been experienced which led to UL Hospitals Group cancelling all outpatient activity at Ennis Hospital and University Hospital Limerick for Thursday and Friday.

She stated that staff were being freed up to manage the outbreak. “The situations haven’t completely stabilised”. Co-ordination with the outbreak teams continues with all processes activated and in place, Dr Hickey added.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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