Quinlivan tells Health Minister to get his finger out

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Photos collected by David Raleigh from a reliable source are attached... of patients on trolleys at the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick yesterday. There are 54 patients on trolleys at UHL today, 49 in the ED, the highest number in the country. At one point yesterday according to a hospital source, there were 94 patients on trolleys in the ED between patients admitted and those awaiting a decision on admittance. Staff are “overwhelmed and demoralised” as they try to battle a surge in Covid cases as well as patients on trolleys, the source said. There are 142 confirmed Covid cases - the most in any hospital in the country. Some patients at the ED have been waiting over 100 hours for beds.

SINN Féin T.D Maurice Quinlivan spoke of the need for increased capacity at University Hospital Limerick following the rise in Covid cases in Limerick.

Highlighting the issues facing the hospital, Deputy Quinlivan commented: “There were 66 people on Trolleys at the hospital Wednesday. Unfortunately, this is not unusual as there has been on average 50 people on trollies in UHL for every day of 2021 so far.

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“We really need to hear from the Minister on his exact plan to manage the Covid and overcrowding issues facing our major hospital in Limerick. The 14-day incident rate in Limerick has surpassed 2,000 per 100,000 of population.

“That is one in every 50 people having Covid-19. Nearly 4,000 cases have been reported in Limerick since Christmas. These are startling numbers.”

“I fear for the amazing staff at University Hospital Limerick many of whom are exhausted. They have told me this. From consultants to porters to nurses they have the same story, overworked and understaffed.

“They are working under conditions of great strain. We do not have enough beds for those who need them. People being treated on trolleys is never acceptable, but during a pandemic it is dangerous and simply unacceptable.”

The Limerick T.D. asked the Minister about the consistently high numbers of people on trolleys at UHL asking:

“Minister, do you think it is a problem with the management at UHL given that Limerick consistently has the highest number of people on trolleys?

Concluding his remarks Deputy Quinlivan lamented that the 60-bed modular unit has not had the impact on trolley numbers that had been hoped for and urged the Minister for Health to progress the planned 96 bed unit.

He stated: “Minister it is time to get the finger out and cut through the red tape and deliver the 96-bed unit so desperately needed in UHL. It is not fair on the people of Limerick that they must go through this trolley crises year upon year. I am urging you to personally intervene as without urgent direct action I fear the trolley crisis in Limerick will continue for years.” he concluded.