HSE officials are said to be considering the expansion of services provided at Ennis Hospital.
A business case has been submitted to the HSE for a further expansion of services on offer at Ennis Hospital. No such application is under consideration for St John’s Hospital in Limerick or Nenagh Hospital.
Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) has been vocal on the need for tier two hospitals such as Ennis to be utilised to a greater extent in order to ease some of the pressure on University Hospital Limerick (UHL).
He stated, “In recent months, I have outlined the requirement for the HSE to explore ways of reducing the number of patients from across the Mid-West being funnelled into University Hospital Limerick, which is the most overcrowded hospital in the country. The COVID-19 crisis has heightened the need for services to expanded at Tier 2 hospitals to alleviate this pressure and to reduce the numbers on trolleys at UHL”.
“At Ennis Hospital, the HSE currently runs a 7-day service from 8:00am to 8:00pm, seeing up to 24 new patients per day Monday to Friday, and up to sixteen per day at weekends. The HSE has responded to my most recent query in the COVID Committee and has confirmed a business case has been submitted for further expansion. This follows the confirmation I received from Liam Woods, the HSE’s Director of Acute Services, of the HSE’s consideration of proposals around radiology and surgical assessment in Ennis, as well as an investment in additional geriatricians to enable them to stay in their home rather than being admitted to hospital,” McNamara told The Clare Echo.
McNamara concluded, “While I welcome the fact that a business case has been prepared for consideration, the apparent lack of urgency is a cause for concern given the strain the UL hospital group was already under and the added pressure that COVID-19 will inevitably bring”.