Urgent Action needed following failure after failure at UHL

26 April 2024
  • More medical staff must be swiftly hired – no excuses anymore.
  • Dedicated budget package needed to hire staff, and put in place supports for existing staff. 

Speaking after the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Aoife Johnston, Limerick Labour Councillor and candidate for Mayor Conor Sheehan has called for urgent action from Government following failure after failure at University Hospital Limerick.

Cllr Sheehan said:

“Today we have 106 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick, twice the level of overcrowding of the next worst hospital which is Cork University Hospital. The government have no plan right now to help the people who need treatment in UHL. FG, FF and the Green Party need to take responsibility for the state of our hospital.

“The verdict of the inquest into the tragic death of Aoife Johnston highlights how her death should never have happened and could have been prevented. An emergency medicine doctor has described our hospital as a ‘death trap’. The dysfunction must be addressed now.

“We need to see more than lip service to Aoife and her family and we need to see urgent action from Government. The recruitment embargo must be lifted and a new dedicated budget package put in place. We know that UHL is short 200 staff, the panels are in place but the necessary staff cannot be given jobs due to the Government’s recruitment embargo. All measures must be on the table to get more doctors and nurses into the hospital even if that means recruitment bonuses.

“What is the point of an €8 billion surplus if teenagers are dying unnecessarily in our hospital. There is also a growing retention crisis that won’t be resolved unless more staff are hired to ease conditions, and supports put in place to address those at the frontline under enormous pressure.

“We also need Government to commit to the need for a Model 3 hospital in the Midwest. The Labour Party feel that we need a level 3 hospital in the Midwest that has an emergency department. This would be a hospital of similar status to Tullamore, Sligo or Kilkenny.

“The Government need to come out and admit that reconfiguration has completely failed and that a complete change in approach is needed. We have no confidence in the Midwest in Government to deal with this. More tinkering around the edges such as additional 96 bed blocks will not solve the crisis at University Hospital Limerick.

“The Government need now to lift the recruitment ban immediately, put in place a dedicated support package with real financial resources, and commit to an additional Model 3 hospital in the Midwest as St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh are all Model 2 hospitals and we need a Model 3 with an A&E, Medical Assessment Unit and ICU.”

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