Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Emergency Department (ED) attendances at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) stood at 253 at 10pm on Tuesday last, March 7.  

In an email sent to UHW Management that same evening, Dr Desmond Fitzgerald, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine, underlined the extent of the challenge facing all hospital staff.  

“Taking out the Covid years, the average for the last three normal years (2018, ’19 & ’22) is 169. That’s a 50% increase in attends.”  

A grateful Dr Fitzgerald added: “I’d just like to say a massive thanks to all the ED Team – nurses, doctors, porters, HCAs, catering, security – Bed & Hospital Management, and the on-call teams who have really worked incredibly hard and with great compassion and spirit. It’s not sustainable, but a huge thanks from us.” 

In response, UHW General Manager Grace Rothwell stated: “Agreed! Huge acknowledgement to all for the work this past week – it shows no signs of abating.”  

UHW management continues to liaise with the South South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) and the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) in the wake of the Wexford General Hospital (WGH) fire on March 1.  

With 4o beds at WGH set to be unavailable for up to six months, additional ED attendances  would appear likely for UHW and neighbouring group hospitals in the interim.  

The prospect of redeployed WGH staff dealing with Delayed Transfer Of Care (DTOC) patients from UHW being transferred to a vacant ward at Kilcreene Orthopaedic Hospital in Kilkenny was also being considered last week. 

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