University Hospital Limerick crisis demands urgent political leadership

02 May 2024
  • Hiqa report finds significant risk to patient safety
  • Urgent need for safe staffing levels.

Labour’s Health Spokesperson, Duncan Smith TD, has sounded the alarm following the recent report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), which uncovered significant risks faced by patients at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). The inspection report concluded that patients are still at risk of harm in the emergency department due to persistent overcrowding, which is not fully managed by the hospital.

Deputy Smith said,

“It is unacceptable that patients are still facing significant risks at University Hospital Limerick. The warning signs have been glaringly evident, yet this growing emergency has been allowed to fester. We cannot continue to ignore the dire situation facing both patients and staff.

“The INMO trolley watch consistently highlights the alarming overcrowding crisis at University Hospital Limerick. Despite repeated calls for action, the situation remains dire, with patients enduring prolonged waits for treatment in overcrowded conditions.

“Staff in University Hospital Limerick are stretched to their limits, facing unprecedented levels of stress and pressure. The government’s denial of a recruitment ban only exacerbates the situation, leaving frontline workers without the support they desperately need.

“The Minister’s plans will amount to nothing if there aren’t safe staffing levels in place. We need immediate action to address the chronic overcrowding crisis at University Hospital Limerick and ensure the safety and well-being of both patients and staff.

“We’re calling for urgent political leadership to tackle the crisis at University Hospital Limerick. The safety and health of patients must be prioritised, and immediate steps must be taken to alleviate overcrowding and provide adequate staffing levels. This situation cannot continue. Change is needed, and it is needed now.”

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