PLANNED operations and outpatient appointments in all of the University Hospital Limerick group of hospitals have been cancelled.
UL Hospitals Group has announced the cancellation of all elective surgeries and outpatient appointments across all six sites on next Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10.
The affected hospitals are University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. A visiting ban is also in place in all six hospitals.
A hospital spokesman said,”These measures are necessary in the interests of patient safety and have been taken by the Crisis Management Team established by UL Hospitals Group on Wednesday night, March 4, in the context of the current public health emergency.
“We regret any inconvenience or distress the cancellation of appointments and elective surgery may cause to our patients. All affected patients will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.
“A limited number of exemptions apply and these include but are not limited to patients attending for chemotherapy and dialysis and expectant mothers coming in for elective c-sections.”
All patients whose appointment or procedure is going ahead will be contacted directly by hospital staff.
Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group, said: “We sincerely regret having to reduce services across our sites in this fashion. However, patient safety is our highest priority and as part of a number of actions in that regard, it is necessary to reduce activity in the coming days and prioritise services for our sickest patients.
“We have entered a challenging period for patients and their loved ones and for all of our staff.
“Our staff have been preparing for this challenge for several weeks now and we are now putting those plans into effect.
“Members of the public can help by co-operating with the current visitor ban across all six hospitals; by attending our Emergency Department only where necessary; by ensuring they follow all the relevant public health advice from reputable sources and taking the simple precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones and our community at large.”