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Members of the public contemplating presenting themselves to the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) have been asked “to consider all their care options” before doing so.

Shortly after lunchtime on Tuesday, UL Hospitals Group issued a statement to The Clare Echo appealing to the public not to come to the emergency department unless necessary. In the space of 24 hours from 8am on Monday to the same time this morning, 250 patients attended the ED, a spokesperson said “which is thirty to forty more patients than were presenting from the Department on Mondays during recent weeks”.

This coupled with a busy weekend has seen an increase in the number of discharges. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused to patients or their loved ones who have experienced long wait times in the ED at UHL, and we would like to reassure patients and their families that we are working to alleviate the situation. We also acknowledge the work of our staff and thank them for their continued dedication and commitment to patient care. We are urging people to please consider all their care options at this time and not to attend the Emergency Department unless absolutely necessary. It is important that we keep the ED for emergencies only and we encourage the public to do so.

“Injury Units in St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals are open for appropriate injuries. Injury Units treat broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns and save long waiting times. Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm every day and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John’s Hospital. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required. However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority,” the statement concluded.

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