As part of the reorganisation of health services, Ennis Hospital, part of the UL Hospitals, delivers a vital service to the people of Clare, many of whom live in remote rural locations. With the opening next Monday, July 8th 2013, of a new Medical Assessment Unit and the conversion of the Local Emergency Centre to a Local Injury Unit, the hospital will continue to provide consultant delivered selected acute medicine. It is being done as part of an ongoing program to improve patient safety and efficiency. The Small Hospitals Framework published in May 2013 sets out a very clear role for hospitals such as Ennis. Ennis hospital has a pivotal role in treating patients from Clare.
The opening of the Local Injury Unit and the Medical Assessment Unit means that patients will be streamlined to attend the Unit that best meets their healthcare needs.
Local Injury Unit (LIU):The Unit will be open from 08.00 am to 8.00pm seven days a week. The Local Injury Unit will treat adult patients and children aged over five with minor injuries such as suspected broken bones, sprains and strains, facial injuries, minor scalds and burns. The Unit is led by a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and staffed by Registrars, Nurses, Radiographers, Pharmacists, Multi-Task Attendants and Clerical staff. People can self refer to the Local Injury Unit or be referred by their GP/Shannondoc.
Anyone requiring treatment outside of the opening hours should attend their nearest ED, Shannondoc/GP. Those with minor injuries may also wait to attend the Local Injury Unit the following morning. In an emergency people should attend their nearest Emergency Department or call an ambulance on telephone 999 or 112.
Medical Assessment Unit (MAU):The Medical Assessment Unit will be open from 8.00am to 6.00pm five days a week. The MAU will see patients who are referred by their GP’s with certain symptoms that may require hospital admission such as chest infections and chronic diseases including asthma and diabetes.
Patients referred to the MAU will be seen by a senior doctor with ready access to diagnostics such as x-rays, blood tests, scans, etc. This facilitates early diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment, which results in patients being discharged earlier, reduces the volume of medical admissions and shortens the length of time patients spend in hospital. Shannondoc/GPs can also admit medical patients directly to the Hospital outside the opening times of the MAU, following discussion with the Medical & Nursing staff.
The commencement of the new units is being done as part of an ongoing program to improve patient safety and efficiency. The Small Hospital Frameworks published in May 2013 sets out a very clear role for hospitals such as Ennis. Ennis hospital has a pivotal role in treating patients from Clare. However, the small group of patients who require critical care such as those requiring treatment for heart attacks and strokes will need to be seen by a Specialist. This service is in line with the National Clinical Programmes and the patient safety ethos which is an integral part of UL Hospitals.
Ennis hospital is now busier than ever. The reconfiguration of surgery in the region has seen surgical activity increase from 2,723 procedures in 2010 to 4,585 procedures in 2012. It is now the centre for bowel cancer screening for the region. The ambition of UL Hospitals is to grow services in Ennis, particularly services for chronic diseases and planned care.