Case submitted for expansion of Ennis hospital services

Case submitted for expansion of Ennis hospital services


The HSE has confirmed that a business case has been submitted for further expansion of the level of services provided at Ennis Hospital.

Clare Independent TD, Michael McNamara received confirmation from the HSE following repeated calls for greater use to be made of Tier 2 Hospitals within the UL Hospitals Group, namely Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital in Tipperary and St. John’s in Limerick.

It’s understood however that business cases for additional use of St. John’s and Nenagh not currently being considered.

“In recent months, I have outlined the requirement for the HSE to explore ways of reducing the number of patients from across the Mid-West being funnelled into University Hospital Limerick, which is the most overcrowded hospital in the country.  The COVID-19 crisis has heightened the need for services to expanded at Tier 2 hospitals to alleviate this pressure and to reduce the numbers on trolleys at UHL,” stated Deputy McNamara.

He added, “At Ennis Hospital, the HSE currently runs a 7-day service from 8:00am to 8:00pm, seeing up to 24 new patients per day Monday to Friday, and up to sixteen per day at weekends.   The HSE has responded to my most recent query in the COVID Committee and has confirmed a business case has been submitted for further expansion.  This follows the confirmation I received from Liam Woods, the HSE’s Director of Acute Services, of the HSE’s consideration of proposals around radiology and surgical assessment in Ennis, as well as an investment in additional geriatricians to enable them to stay in their home rather than being admitted to hospital.”

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

Meanwhile, Deputy McNamara has also been informed by the HSE that similar business cases for additional use of St. John’s and Nenagh are not currently being considered.

“In relation to St. John’s, the HSE says it is actively looking at moving from the current unit as it will not facilitate the expansion of the existing Monday to Friday service and it does not allow for them to see more patients as space is limited. Once they have relocated, the HSE aims to increase the number of referrals that can be seen.  In relation to the Monday to Friday service at Nenagh, the HSE says there is no plans in place currently to increase the working hours.  It says the service has the capacity to receive referral within their current service,” added Deputy McNamara.

He concluded, “While I welcome the fact that a business case has been prepared for consideration, the apparent lack of urgency is a cause for concern given the strain the UL hospital group  was already under and the added pressure that COVID-19 will inevitably bring.”