UHL new block – Construction of the 96-bed block will begin in October.
The unit will be built to tackle overcrowding issues at University Hospital Limerick
By I Love Limerick correspondent Stella Gordon
The Government has granted University Hospital Limerick (UHL) €90 million for a new 96-bed block, one of 18 Limerick health infrastructure projects in the HSE’s 2022 Capital Plan. Each of the 96 rooms will be en-suite. Construction will begin in October of this year and is due to be completed by September 2024.
Approximately half of the beds will be new beds for inpatients and the other half will replace old beds on site.
UHL suffered massively from overcrowding in 2021, one of the worst situations seen across Irish hospitals. This immense pressure has been felt by patients and staff alike. The new block will bring the number of additional beds since 2020 to just under 200.
Prof Colette Cowan, CEO of UL Hospitals Group, said, “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been supported by Government and the HSE in opening 98 inpatient beds and 10 new critical care beds at UHL. This new single-room capacity has dramatically improved our ability to isolate patients and to protect many of the most vulnerable.”
“In spite of this progress, inpatient bed capacity at UHL and the Mid West region is not sufficient to meet increasing demand on our services.”
Limerick City TD Kieran O’Donnell, who has campaigned for the new block, stated, “Our region has a historical issue in terms of inadequate bed capacity. Along with the new 98-bed and 60-bed blocks built in UHL over the last two years, the newly announced 96-bed block, when completed, would bring the total new beds on-site in Dooradoyle to 194 and further assist in alleviating the overcrowding challenges we see here.”
Mr O’Donnell also shared his appreciation for the management and staff at UHL, saying, “I would like to thank the management and HSE estates for advancing this 96-bed block as fast as possible. Furthermore, I wish to compliment the extremely hard-working staff at UHL for their service and dedication to patients.”
“I look forward to seeing all these much-needed health building projects progress over the coming period and I will continue to strongly advocate for increases in health funding here in Limerick and in the wider Midwest, for the provision of new health facilities and to improve bed capacity.”
While this is a widely accepted progression, it has been acknowledged that many more beds will be needed at UHL in order to fully tackle the overcrowding issue. Local Senator Maria Byrne commented, “This is a step in the right direction but more beds and staff are needed, in conjunction with an urgent response from the HSE.”
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