Only one in four ambulances meet Limerick hospital target time

The ambulance bay at University Hospital Limerick

JUST over one quarter of ambulances bringing seriously ill and injured patients to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) deliver patients in their target turnaround time of 30 minutes.

That’s according to figures recently released by the emergency services which show the number of ambulances making the target time when dropping at UHL is just 27.3 per cent.

UHL doesn’t have the slowest turnaround time however. Only 9.3 per cent of ambulances arriving at University Hospital Galway get to turn around in the 30 minute window, while Mayo University Hospital are even slower with just 5.9 per cent of ambulances getting away on time.

8,345 people were taken to UHL by ambulance last year, with 299 patients arriving at St John’s Hospital in Limerick City. 14 were transported to Croom Hospital by ambulance.

351 people were brought to Ennis by ambulance in the same timespan and 213 to Nenagh.

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The ‘Pathfinder’ programme, due to be implemented this summer, will help reduce the number of people who have to travel to hospital to avail of treatment.

Specially trained and qualified paramedics will be dispatched to asses whether it is necessary for patients, particularly older people, to be exposed to conditions in the busy emergency department.

University of Limerick Hospitals Group chief executive Colette Cowan said recruitment has already started for the Pathfinder programme and that it is on course to begin before September.

The group is also asking people to make full use of minor injury units at St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh where possible.