THE mental health crisis service operating out of the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) dealt with more than 500 people in just over two weeks during the Christmas and New Year period.
In response to a query from the Limerick Post, a spokesman for the service said that the Crisis Liaison Service at the University of Limerick Hospitals Group was fully operational all through the recent overcrowding crisis at the hospital.
The spokesman said the crisis service is “fully staffed and operating well. It has been a busy period for the team, from December 19 to January 8 when they received 508 contacts.”
“Of these 508 contacts, ten people required admission to an inpatient bed.
“The Crisis Liaison Team are working well with their medical colleagues. All referrals from the medical staff to the mental health team are seen without any delay.”
“Over the Christmas and early January period, there was a huge number of people attending the emergency department at UHL, with 97 admitted patients waiting for beds on January 3 and 170 people waiting to be seen in the emergency department on one day alone.
The Mental Health Crisis Liaison Service operates independently of the medical services in terms of oversight and management and comes under a different section of the HSE services, although it is physically situated in the emergency department at the Dooradoyle hospital.
The service comes under the governance of HSE Mid West Community Healthcare, with the medical and metal health services working together to refer patients presenting at the emergency department to the appropriate section.