First Modular Units For UHL 60 Bed Block Arrive

UHL 60 bed block

The €19.5 million UHL 60 bed block project will begin to help address the acknowledged lack of bed capacity in the MidWest region.

First Modular Units For UHL 60 Bed Block Arrive

The UL Hospitals Group has reassured the public that its UHL 60 bed block will be open and ready for use before the end of the year, as units for the modular build landed at University Hospital Limerick this past Monday. 

It marks the official beginning of the block, which is seen as key to alleviating overcrowding in the Midwest hospital system.

The €19.5 million UHL 60 bed block project will begin to help address the acknowledged lack of bed capacity in the MidWest region. UL Hospitals Group and HSE Estates have confirmed the project is on schedule and say the beds will open before the end of 2020. This project has been in the works for quite a while now, with excavation works getting underway 11 months ago.

Government opposition has raised concerns over the opening of the €19.5m project, saying that staff needs to be recruited before the state-of-the-art modular units are ready for use. The remainder of the units are prefabricated offsite, located just a few miles from UHL, awaiting delivery. Installed by a mobile crane, all units are expected to be erected on site this month, a spokesperson said. 

Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group, said work was progressing “well on the UHL 60 Bed Block” for University Hospital Limerick, and with the arrival of the modular units “another milestone was reached”.

“We expect the beds will be available for patients before the end of this year after all the equipment has been installed and tested and all the staff recruited and trained,” she said.

The modular units are being delivered by a fleet of 40-foot articulated lorries. In order to reduce congestion in the area, no more than one lorry is permitted on the hospital grounds at any one time.

The units for hospital ward levels 1 to 3 have been prefabricated offsite and are being parked up in an area within a few miles of the hospital awaiting delivery.

The ward block will provide an additional 60 beds for the hospital, all single-patient rooms with ensuites. The additional single rooms will help to improve patient comfort, safety, privacy, and dignity and assist with the management of infection control in the hospital.

UL Hospitals Group is currently finalising the details of a specific recruitment campaign for the approximately 140 whole-time equivalent staff required for this significant expansion of UHL’s bed capacity.

“This project will help considerably in reducing the long wait times experienced by too many of our patients, especially in our Emergency Department,” Ms Cowan said.

“However, it is acknowledged by all parties that more capacity is required in the MidWest,” Ms Cowen said, she continued, “It is important that we continue to progress the 96-bed Block which is included in the national development plan. A full design team has now been appointed for this project and a feasibility study is underway. We expect that a planning application will be lodged with Limerick City and County Council later this year,” she added.

The award of a public works contract to develop the 96-Bed Ward Block would be subject to capital funding availability.

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