Limerick hospital gets green light for new A&E

The HSE has given approval for a new emergency& department at one of the country’s busiest hospitals.

The chief executive of the Mid-West Hospitals’ Group, Ann Doherty, confirmed the new unit will open at the Midwestern Regional Hospital at Dooradoyle in Limerick.

“This department will be designed in keeping with the best in class designs for emergency departments,” she said.

INMO representative, Mary Fogarty — who over the past number of years has raised issues concerning safety at the current &emergency department — welcomed the news.

“The current accident and emergency& &unit is not fit for purpose and we have been saying that for a long time. The announcement is a very welcome development and will be a huge boost to the mid-west for patients and staff when it is in place,” she said.

Last year, nurses at the &unit mounted a number of work stoppages in protest at work conditions.

Ms Fogarty said working conditions at the & emergency department “have been very difficult and that is putting it mildly”.

Volumes of patients going through the department& have increased since the HSE centralised & emergency department services by ending 24-hour emergency & care at Ennis and Nenagh General Hospitals.

There were 10 patients waiting on trolleys yesterday at the unit.&

“There have been some improvements in recent weeks, but the lay-out makes it very difficult to work in where you have children being treated near adults for example,” Ms Fogarty said.

Ms Doherty said the new &department will have “areas designated for those who are critically ill and separate areas for children to wait and to be seen”.

She said the Mid-West Hospitals Group’s budget this year dropped by 9%, or €21.7m, on the 2011 total.

“I am not here to try to minimise the difficulties we face as a result of this.

“It is going to be extremely tough to maintain activity levels with this resourcing,” Ms Doherty said.


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