Minister for Health welcomes opening of new beds in University Hospital Limerick

The Minster for Health Stephen Donnelly TD has welcomed the completion of the new €21 million 60-bed block at University Hospital Limerick.

Improving and enhancing capacity within the health service is a key priority for the Minister for Health and the Government. This new block at University Hospital Limerick will be of vast benefit to those living in Limerick and the surrounding counties.

Within the 60-bed block, there are three in-patient wards. Each comprises 20 en-suite single rooms. Two of these will be full isolation facilities and will provide care and treatment for patients from admission to discharge. The 60 single rooms will improve patient comfort, safety, privacy and dignity, and assist with the management of infection control in the hospital. The total capital costs of the projected build were €21 million.

The first of these wards will open on Monday November 23rd; the second ward on December 14th and the third on January 4th 2021.

Minister Donnelly said: “I am delighted to welcome this new 60-bed block in University Hospital Limerick. This will make a huge difference to individuals and families in the Mid West. It will improve patient experience by offering more comfort and privacy. It will also allow for better infection prevention and control measures, which is vital not just during the COVID-19 pandemic but at all times.”

The final beds in two other new rapid-build blocks in University Hospital Limerick were opened recently. Haematology/oncology patients will be treated in the 24-bed block, while the 14-bed block for medical patients is currently being used to isolate COVID-19 cases.

The planning permission application for the 96-bed ward block at UHL was submitted to the local authority in early August 2020. It is hoped planning permission will be granted in the coming months. Provision of funding has been provided in the HSE Capital Plan in 2021 to allow the detailed design stage of the project to be progressed. The total cost of this project will be subject to market conditions and competitive tendering.

Minister Donnelly said: “The bed shortages in the Mid-West have gone on for too long and we are taking several major steps to address this issue. Between the 60-bed block and two separate rapid-build projects delivered under the Government National Action Plan in Response to COVID-19, 78 single rooms will be added by the end of this year. A further 20 beds will be added early in January 2021. In August, a planning permission application was submitted for another 96-bed ward and we are eager to get this project underway as soon as possible. ”

UL Hospitals Group has been given funding to recruit approximately 500 additional staff to support news beds and other initiatives under the Winter Plan 2020-2021. Many healthcare professionals have already joined, while recruitment is ongoing for the phased opening of the 60-bed block. All current student nurses and midwives graduating from the University of Limerick have been offered permanent contracts.


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