DAY surgery remains cancelled at Ennis general hospital amid a wave of respiratory infections that the health services executive (HSE) says has not yet peaked.
In a statement, University Limerick Hospital Group (ULHG), said surgery at hospitals in Ennis and Nenagh are cnelled this week “as both hospitals have opened additional capacity for inpatients”.
University Hospital Limerick has been under severe pressure in recent weeks with record overcrowding.
Non-critical patients now being brought by ambulance to Ennis for the first time in over 10 years.
The statement said a meeting of the Hospital Crisis Management Team last Friday confirmed that limited elective surgery could resume from January 16 at University Hospital Limerick, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital.
Patients will be contacted directly to confirm attendance.
Day surgery is canceled at Ennis and Nenagh and patients affected will be contacted directly by staff.
ULHG said outpatient clinics and endoscopy at Ennis and Nenagh continue as scheduled and patients are advised to attend for their appointments.
The statement continues, “Outpatient clinics are also running as scheduled at UHL, St John’s, Croom and University Maternity Hospital Limerick. All our hospitals are operating above capacity and staff remain on high alert amid a surge of respiratory infection in the community that has not yet reached its peak. As a temporary measure, medical assessment units at St John’s and Nenagh hospitals have moved from a five to a seven-day week to allow for additional GP referrals for medical assessment. Ennis Hospital MAU already operates seven days per week. Members of the public are reminded that patients cannot be seen at our MAUs without a referral”.
ULHG said there has been a reduction in the numbers presenting at UHL emergency department but services remain “under pressure”.
Patients are being asked to consider all healthcare options before attending the ED
Visiting restrictions remain in place at UHL.
The only exceptions to the ban are as follows:
- Parents visiting children in hospital
- People assisting confused patients (e.g. dementia)
- People visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life (on a case-by-case basis)
All these exemptions are limited to one person per patient only.
Relatives or loved ones are advised that a service is in place to drop off or collect patient’s belongings at the main hospital reception.