HomeNewsLimerick hospital overcrowding sees more than 700 operations cancelled

Limerick hospital overcrowding sees more than 700 operations cancelled


MORE than 700 patients about to have surgery in the UL Hospitals Group hospitals had their procedures cancelled following a surge of demand on beds at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

Since mid January, there have been 747 day case procedures and surgeries cancelled in the group, which includes Ennis and Nenagh hospitals.

Inpatient surgery at St John’s Hospital in Limerick was also cancelled last week.

The cancellation numbers were revealed as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) published figures showing that UHL had the biggest number of patients on trolleys in the country in February.

INMO’s Trolley Watch figures showed that there were more than 1,500 people waiting on trolleys for a bed, having been deemed sick enough to require hospital admission in the month of February.

On Friday last, UL Hospital Group chief executive Collette Cowan said in an update shared with TDs and councillors that UHL is “acutely conscious of patients who have already been waiting a long time for their procedure.

“We are also aware of the frustrations of highly trained theatre staff who are redeployed to other roles while surgery is curtailed.”

“This tension between scheduled and unscheduled care, exacerbated by the shortage of bed capacity in the region, only further highlights the importance of developing a surgical hub for the region as soon as possible.”

Professor Cowan also highlighted growing numbers at injury units saying that 38,523 patients attended these in Ennis, Nenagh, and St John’s last year, a 30 per cent rise on 2021.

Attendance at medical assessment units, which accept patients referred by GPs, ShannonDoc, and ambulance paramedics, rose by 19 per cent.

A UL Hospitals Group spokesman said the cancellations followed the postponing of all elective procedures during the first fortnight in January.

“This year’s surge in demand for beds exceeded capacity to the extent that, as per our Escalation Plan, additional reductions in scheduled care were necessary, delaying the resumption of day surgery in Ennis Hospital and Nenagh Hospital, where beds on the day ward were used as surge capacity for medical inpatients,” he said.

Bernie English
Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ie
Bernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news.
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