*CEO of UL Hospitals Group, Colette Cowan.
Scheduled surgeries and outpatient appointments at Ennis Hospital, University Hospital Limerick, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital have been deferred.
On Tuesday evening, UL Hospitals Group made the announcement with the procedures deferred until further notice. All affected patients are being contacted directly by the hospital. University Maternity Hospital Limerick is unaffected by the reductions. The move has been made to prioritise high volumes of emergency COVID-19 patients and non-COVID patients. Patients affected by the cancellations will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.
All care options should be considered before presenting to the emergency department at UHL which remains open for emergency care and patients must continue to present for life-threatening emergencies such as heart attack and stroke.
Emergency and trauma theatre continues to operate and time-critical outpatient appointments are also being accommodated both face-to-face and virtually. Patients whose appointment or procedure is being affected are being contacted by the hospital in advance. The reductions in service are being kept under continuous review by the UL Hospitals Group Crisis Management Team, which is currently meeting on a daily basis.
Visiting bans which were imposed across the hospital sites at the outset of the pandemic in March 2020 remain in force.
“We are now at a critical juncture as we expect the volume of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital will soon exceed the numbers we treated during the first wave. This will present tremendous challenges for our hospitals and for our communities across the MidWest. Since the start of the pandemic we have significantly increased staffing levels and bed capacity,” CEO of UL Hospitals Group, Colette Cowan stated.
She added, “We are currently under considerable pressure but managing. However no healthcare system could continue to cope with the current rate of increase in community transmission; hospital admissions and ICU admissions. The current rate of growth is unsustainable and we are depending on the public to again follow the public health advice as they have done in the past. It is imperative that people stay at home, that they keep their distance, wash their hands and take all the simple precautions to help us through this most challenging phase yet.”
Services which continue include:
- Dialysis (UHL)
- Cancer services (oncology and haematology day ward; haematology and oncology OPD clinics; medical oncology clinics; rapid access clinics; Ward 4B appointments) (UHL)
- Fracture Clinic (UHL)
- Other outpatient clinics: Time-critical only following clinical decision, with patients being contacted in advance
- Paediatrics: oncology/radiology day case/diabetes education (UHL)
- Ante-natal clinic; colposcopy clinic; diabetes in pregnancy clinic; elective c-sections and induction of labour (UMHL)