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Emergency capacity measure the norm in University Hospital Limerick – Quinlivan

30 May, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

 Responding to figures received today from the HSE, Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has said that it appears that an emergency capacity procedure, only supposed to be used in severe capacity situations, is now the norm in University Hospital Limerick.

The Limerick City TD said:

“These figures highlight that nothing has improved since I last raised this issue with the HSE. The response to my Parliamentary Question today shows that the Full Capacity Protocol was used in University Hospital Limerick 304 times in 2016, and has been used every single day in 2017 to the end of April.

“The Full Capacity Protocol is designed to be an emergency measure to deal with overcrowding. It results in patients being put in inappropriate areas of hospitals, leading to overcrowding in wards and to the cancelling of elective procedures and aggressive discharging. It is not intended to be used every day or to become the norm.

“It is unacceptable that this practice is now constant in UHL, one of the biggest hospitals in the State. The INMO have previously described how using the Full Capacity Protocol results in the care of all patients being compromised.

“Being left in a hallway on a trolley or a chair is a horrendous situation to experience for any patient. We cannot continue to leave patients that come to hospital for treatment in these distressing situations.

“A new Emergency Department opened just yesterday in UHL, however without the sufficient levels of staff and beds in our hospitals, this new facility will also be plagued with the problems of trolleys and overcrowding.

“The Minister needs to address this issue immediately to ensure the care of patients is not compromised.” 

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