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Limerick and Mid-West TDs write to Minister Harris over UHL crisis – Maurice Quinlivan TD

17 April, 2019 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

A group of cross-party TDs from Limerick and the Mid-West region today wrote to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, over the ongoing overcrowding crisis at University Hospital Limerick.

Their action comes after the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation recently briefed Limerick and Mid-West TDs on the current overcrowding crisis at the hospital, which saw 81 patients on trolleys on a single day in recent weeks, the highest daily number ever recorded at an Irish hospital.

Speaking from Leinster House today, Maurice Quinlivan TD said;

“I am pleased local TDs from Limerick and the Mid-West region were able to come together to send this important letter to the Minister for Health outlining our serious concern at the current conditions in UHL, and asking the Minister to take immediate action to ensure the safety of patients and staff at the hospital.

“The signatories to this letter represent the constituencies of Limerick City, Limerick County, Clare and Tipperary, and the cross-party nature of it indicates the widespread concern from all corners about the conditions in University Hospital Limerick.

“Last week the INMO briefed us on the appalling conditions facing patients and staff at UHL. The INMO described extremely worrying conditions and explained how difficult it is for sick patients to be treated, and described the huge stress staff are under at the hospital.

"’Chaotic and out of control’, ‘soul destroying’, ‘a total disregard for staff by management’ and ‘patients waiting up to 200 hours in the Emergency Department’ were some of the incredibly worrying statements we heard from nurses at the briefing.

“Many of the local TDs at the briefing were of the opinion we should write to Minster Harris immediately to express our deep concern, and ask for action be taken immediately.

“This letter specifically asks the Minister for Health to immediately appoint appropriate external expertise to examine;

1.Clinical risk and review the standards of governance and performance within the hospital. This must be done by an external, preferably international clinical expert.

2.Failure to comply with national agreements, collective agreements and good IR practice with regards to all employee relations and HR matters within the hospital.

“Urgent action is needed, as it is only a matter of time before a serious incident occurs with this level of overcrowding.

“The Minister must intervene directly in this situation.”

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