HomeNewsInjury units to open full time to relieve pressure on Limerick hospital

Injury units to open full time to relieve pressure on Limerick hospital

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INJURY and assessment units at St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals will open on a 24/7 basis to relieve pressure on the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

This follows Government approval of a Private Members Motion tabled in Dáil Éireann today by Clare TD Michael McNamara and members of the Independent Group.

The motion called for the full time operation of Medical Assessment Units (MAU) and Local Injuries Units (LIU) at Tier 2 hospitals across the country.

It also sought the replacement of paper-based health records with digital data and the appointment of designated medical officers in every nursing home to ensure that residents can access treatment by primary care teams.

Deputy McNamara said the basis for the Motion was the ongoing overcrowding in Irish hospitals, with 121,000 patients being left without a bed last year, and the ongoing record overcrowding being experienced across the country during 2023.

He welcomed the Government’s commitment to implementing the proposal to expand MAUs and LIUs at Model 2 Hospitals, which he said would help to alleviate pressure on emergency departments.

“LIUs deliver efficient, expert treatment to tens of thousands of patients with minor injuries every year and have been of crucial assistance in relieving pressure on emergency departments during the pandemic,” he explained.

“MAUs also play an integral role in emergency department avoidance, providing a vital and timely service to GPs and patients. Around ten per cent of MAU cases may require admission to the hospital, and the majority will be discharged, with a follow-up review in the unit within 48 hours.”

Deputy McNamara also welcomed the Government’s commitment to implementing a system of electronic health record keeping across the country.

“Ireland remains a laggard in Europe for digitisation in the health system and the introduction of electronic health records. The use of such technology could significantly reduce triage times in emergency departments,” he said.

The Clare TD said he hoped the Government would soon move to appoint designated medical officers in every nursing home and ensure that patients in nursing homes can access treatment by primary care teams.

“There remains a lack of a specific national structure or control for clinical oversight of the care of people admitted to nursing homes and they have difficulty accessing treatment by primary care teams. This lack of such oversight and care can result in unnecessary presentations at emergency departments,” he added.

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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