Nenagh patients blamed for chaos at Limerick hospital

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PATIENTS from Nenagh and Ennis are being blamed for the upsurge in the number of people being trolleys at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick. A total of 38 people were on trolleys this Wednesday morning, but that had reduced to 31 by the afternoon. There were 15 patients on trolleys this Thursday, according to Trolleywatch.

PATIENTS from Nenagh and Ennis are being blamed for the upsurge in the number of people being trolleys at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick. A total of 38 people were on trolleys this Wednesday morning, but that had reduced to 31 by the afternoon. There were 15 patients on trolleys this Thursday, according to Trolleywatch.

The situation deteriorated to such an extent that the hospital had to appeal for people not to present at the emergency department in Limerick on two occasions over the past week.

According to a statement issued by the HSE this Tuesday, despite local emergency centres being available at Ennis and Nenagh the evidence is that the local population are not availing of these services. Instead, they are travelling directly to Dooradoyle.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Mid Western Regional Hospitals Group, Ann Doherty, this Wednesday announced the reopening of 20 beds at St John’s Hospital in Limerick supported by the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, the Special Delivery Unit and the HSE.

This follows a week of extreme pressure on the emergency department of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, which involved a large number of very sick patients presenting with acute medical conditions particularly respiratory complaints.

Work on commissioning the extra capacity at St John’s is to begin immediately and it is expected that the 20 beds will be opened within a matter of days. This is in addition to a total of 21 extra beds coming on stream at the Dooradoyle campus by the end of the year as the new €16m critical care block is fully occupied.

Ms Doherty complimented staff who are working under exceptional circumstances and also thanked members of the public for their co-operation. She has stressed that the emergency department remains open but appealed to people to go to their GP in the first instance where appropriate.

“We have had a succession of acutely unwell patients over the age of 70 presenting at the ED. The majority have required admission to a bed. All inpatients are reviewed three times a day to assess their fitness for discharge. However, the reality is that every bed in the hospital is occupied by somebody who needs to be there.

“There are no delayed discharges due to people waiting for Fair Deal home care packages or because of inappropriate stays. Today (Wednesday) one third of attendances and subsequent admissions are patients with respiratory and chest related conditions.

“We are very much aware of the limits of the present emergency department and construction has commenced on a new department which is expected to be operational in two years,” she added.