Surgeries and clinic cancellations extended

covid-19 coronavirus
Medical photo created by freepik -

The UL Hospitals Group crisis management team has extended the measures in the interests of patient and staff safety, and said in a statement it regrets any inconvenience or distress caused to those patients who are affected by the cancellations. Those patients will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.

There are a number of exceptions where appointments are still going ahead this Thursday and Friday:

–          Dialysis (UHL)

–          Cancer services (oncology and haematology day ward; haematology and oncology OPD clinics; medical oncology clinics; Ward 4B appointments) (UHL)

–          Cardiology diagnostics (UHL)

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–          OPAT (antibiotic therapy) (UHL)

–          Radiology outpatients (UHL)

–          Fracture Clinic (UHL)

–          Paediatrics: oncology/radiology day case/diabetes service (UHL)

–          Ante-natal clinic; colposcopy clinic; diabetes in pregnancy clinic; Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit; caesarean -sections and induction of labour (UMHL)

 –          Warfarin Clinic (Ennis Hospital)

–       Antenatal Clinic (Ennis Hospital

–          Elective surgery for paediatric patients (Croom Orthopaedic Hospital)

–          Radiology appointments (Nenagh Hospital)

For a limited number of other urgent outpatient appointments and procedures, patients will be called directly by staff to confirm the appointment.

The Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick remains open; as do the Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s Hospital and the medical assessment units (GP referral) around the Group. The Maternity Emergency Unit/Early Pregnancy assessment Unit at UMHL is operating as normal.

A statement from the hsopital said,”We are also urging the public to keep the Emergency Department for emergencies only; a place where priority is given to the seriously injured and ill and those whose lives may be at risk. Anyone else should first consider all the care options available to them in them in their own communities, their family doctors, out-of-hours GP services, or ask their local pharmacies for advice.

“Local Injury Units (LIUs) at Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals (8am-8pm daily), and St John’s Hospital (8am-6pm, Monday to Friday) are an excellent option for treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns, without the lengthy wait that can be expected in the ED during busy periods.

“If you are unwell and have been to one of the affected areas check for the symptoms of COVID19. If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, phone your GP or local emergency department (ED) without delay.

“It is important that you do not go to the Emergency Department or your GP. Ring them in advance for advice. Avoid contact with other people by self-isolating. In a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms, call 112 or 999.”

UL Hospitals Group CEO, Colette Cowan, said: “We sincerely regret having to reduce services and restrict visiting across our sites. However, patient safety is our highest priority and as part of a number of actions in that regard, it is necessary to reduce activity and prioritise services for our sickest patients. We are working to resume normal service at the earliest appropriate opportunity”.

 “We ask that members of the public help in the national effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 by observing the visitor ban in our hospitals, by attending the Emergency Department at UHL only when necessary; by following relevant public health advice around hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette and social distancing; and taking simple precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones and our community at large.”