Medical Assessment Unit at St John’s reopens for emergency patients

St. John's Hospital Limerick

THE MEDICAL Assessment Unit (MAU) pathway for patients requiring emergency care has been reopened at St John’s Hospital.

The MAU opened to 999 or 112 referrals from last Friday (August 4) in an attempt to ease pressure on the overcrowded University Hospital Limerick.

The initiative, managed by the UL Hospitals Group and the National Ambulance Service (NAS), allows for stable medical patients meeting the clinical criteria to be treated at MAUs in St John’s, or at Ennis and Nenagh hospitals, with telephone referral from treating paramedics ensuring that the right patients are brought to MAUs.

The MAU 112/999 Pathway provides patients with treatment in hospitals closer to their homes, helps reduce attendances at Emergency Departments (EDs), and releases ambulances more quickly to respond to other emergency calls.

Patients not meeting the clinical criteria will continue to be transported to the ED for assessment and treatment.

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The reopening of the MAU pathway at St John’s now means that all three hospitals with medical assessment units within the UL Hospitals Group can now treat patients referred by GPs, ShannonDoc, and NAS paramedics.

However, people are reminded to only attend the MAUs at Nenagh, Ennis, and St John’s hospitals if they have a referral.

According to the UL Hospitals Group, 119 patients have been brought to MAUs in Nenagh and Ennis since January of this year, playing in important role in ED avoidance.

MAUs are staffed by medical doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, health and social care professionals, and administrative staff.

The units provide diagnosis and treatment for patients referred with medical conditions including chest infections, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pneumonia, urinary tract infections, fainting episodes, clots in the leg, anaemia, or non-acute cardiac problems.

In 2022, 12,737 patients were referred to the MAUs in the three hospitals within the UL Hospitals Group.