Inspectors come calling to crisis-hit Limerick hospital

Limerick Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan (right) with Deputy Maurice Quinlivan outside University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

AN inspection being undertaken by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) at University Hospital Limerick today has raised hopes of radical changes being implemented at the crisis-hit hospital.

That’s according to Limerick Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan who has welcomed the latest HIQA inspection ‘after the horrendous crisis of the last few weeks, and a year in which there were 18,000 patients left to languish on trolleys.

“People across Limerick and the Mid-West marched in their thousands demanding action. We have to hope that the report arising from today’s inspection will bring the radical changes that so many people have been calling for.”

“The last HIQA inspection of UHL’s emergency department was carried out last March and was a damning indictment of hospital management failures,” Senator Gavan explained.

“Its findings included a shortage of beds, ineffective patient flow, insufficient nurse staffing levels, compromised dignity and privacy of patients and chronic overcrowding. The report also detailed that UHL was partially compliant with just one of four key standards of care, and non-compliant with the other three.

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“HIQA concluded that overcrowding and an understaffed emergency department posed a significant risk to the provision of safe, quality, person centred care and to the health and welfare of people receiving care.”

“That report was published last June. Since then, we have seen the situation in the emergency department get even worse, and a letter signed by 87 doctors at the hospital demanding change.

“In my view that change has to include changes to the senior management team at UHL. By any set of measures the current management team have failed to deal with the ever widening crisis in UHL.”

Senator Gavan urged the swift compilation and publication of this latest HIQA report to determine what steps need to be taken to end the crisis in staffing and care at UHL.