Local Hospitals To Increase Hours To Combat Overcrowding

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The Medical Assessment Units(MAUs) in Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s Limerick are to be open for 7 days a week from this weekend.  The change comes following approval of funding of €5.2 million for the expanded services. The services have been dealing with extra patients as the ambulance protocol now allows clinically suitable patients to be taken to a MAU rather than the Emergency Department in University Hospital Limerick. The change is intended to provide patients with more appropriate care and to reduce overcrowding in the Emergency Department at UHL. 

The HSE funding is to provide the necessary staffing resources at St John’s and Nenagh from this weekend, and secure the already extended weekend service at Ennis MAU into the future. The hospital group says recruitment has been ongoing for an additional 51.45 wholetime equivalent posts across a number of specialties for the MAU services, including medical doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, health and social care professionals and administrative staff.

The MAUs operate by means of a GP referral and will mean extra capacity for GPs. The extended opening hours, with all three units open seven days a week, will create an additional total of 7,176 patient slots per annum across the three sites, significantly enhancing the acute medical healthcare referral alternatives available to GPs over weekends in particular