Director of UHL: This is not a crisis, hospital fire exits are not blocked

The chief clinical director of University of Limerick Hospital, Professor Paul Burke is disputing the claims of the INMO about the number of patients on trolleys in the hospital today.

He also denied a claim by INMO representative Mary Fogarty that trolleys are blocking fire exits.

Prof Burke acknowledged that the hospital is “very busy today” and said that at 1pm there were 16 patients on trolleys on the wards and that the 40 patients currently in the emergency department would shortly move up to the wards.

“It is not a crisis, this is something we deal with all the time.”

Prof Burke also denied that a 17 bed ward had been closed last week. He explained that the 17 beds had been a temporary feature while the old emergency department was being refurbished.

The old unit had 17 beds and offered 12 hours a day service, while the new unit he said has “five or six” more beds and operates 24 hours. “We’ve actually increased the bed capacity.

“We have some trolleys on the wards and on a continual basis in the emergency department.”

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