A “SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT” has been recorded in the amount of patients waiting for a first appointment in the adult outpatients diabetes clinic within UL Hospitals Group.

In March 2022, the waiting list stood at 573, it decreased to 465 in March 2023 and has dropped further to 127 as of February 2024 which Chief Operating Officer with UL Hospitals Group, Noreen Spillane labelled as a “significant improvement”.

An update on improvements released in November 2021 to the diabetes service within UL Hospitals Group was sought by Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) in relation to staffing and the waiting list over the two years of its implementation.

Ms Spillane advised that University Hospital Limerick is at an advanced stage in the development of a Diabetes Day Care Centre. “This will provide a dedicated unit for the assessment and management of people living with diabetes in the Mid-West region. People living with diabetes will attend the centre for both urgent and planned visits to meet diabetes-related needs outside of routine scheduled care”.

Specialist diabetes nurses/advanced nurse practitioners, dietitians, podiatrists, psychologists, non-consultant hospital doctors, endocrinologists and administration staff will be among the full multi-disciplinary team here. Comprehensive care for patients requiring follow-up care will also be provided, Noreen said.

Speaking at a meeting of the Regional Health Forum, Cllr Murphy commented, “The response shows when we invest into a specific health issue where things go, if you look at the waiting times between March and February, it is just phenomenal to see the drop in numbers there”.

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