University Hospital Limerick

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University Hospital Limerick
Health Service Executive
Location Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland
Care system HSE, University of Limerick Hospital Group
Funding Public hospital
Affiliated university University of Limerick
Emergency department Yes, 24 hours
Beds 562
Lists Hospitals in the Republic of Ireland

University Hospital Limerick[1] (formerly known as Limerick Regional Hospital or Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick) is a hospital located in Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland.[2] It is managed by the Irish Government's Health Service Executive and provides acute-care hospital services, including a 24-hour emergency department,[2] for the population of Ireland's Mid West Region, encompassing; counties Limerick, Clare, North Tipperary, and South Tipperary. In 2008, the hospital served 120,316 out-patients, and 23,014 in-patients, with an average stay of 5.8 nights.[2] 72.8% of admissions were made via the accident and emergency department or 16,720 patients. In total, 56,528 patients presented to the emergency department in 2008. The hospital saw 20,143-day cases in the same year.[2] In July 2011, it was reported that the hospital would undergo its third name change in five years to become University Hospital Limerick following the establishment of the Graduate Medical School at the University of Limerick which is affiliated to the hospital.[3]


The hospital provides 522 beds, of which 375 are in-patient acute beds, while 97 are reserved for acute day cases.[2] A further 50 beds are for psychiatric services. In-patient services include general medicine, general surgery, geriatric assessment, psychiatry, accident and emergency, intensive care/critical care, cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, haematology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, palliative medicine, respiratory medicine, rheumatology, dental surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, otorhinolaryngology (ENT), vascular surgery, urology, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, anaesthesia, radiology, and radiotherapy.[2][4]

It is the location of the Mid-Western Cancer Centre.[5]

Governance Structure[edit]

Since 2012 all six hospitals run by the HSE in the greater Mid-West Region have been operating under a single operating and governance structure known as the University of Limerick Hospitals Group.[6] The hospitals in the group are; University Hospital, Limerick, St. Munchin's Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick, Mid Western Orthopaedic Hospital, Croom, St John's Hospital, Limerick, Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis and the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Nenagh.[6] Previously, each hospital had its own operating and governance structure. It is one of 6 groupings of hospitals in the country. University Hospital Limerick is the main teaching hospital of the group and is aligned with the Graduate Medical School at the University of Limerick.[6]

Waiting times[edit]

The national median waiting time for surgery in November 2009 stood at 2.5 months; at Limerick Regional this figure was 2.7 months. Overall waiting time was 2.3 months, just below the national median of 2.4 months.[7] As of November 2009,[7] the National Treatment Purchase Fund listed the following waiting times for procedures:


  • adult patients waiting 3–6 months: 221
  • adult patients waiting 6–12 months: 264
  • adult patients waiting over 12 months: 50
  • child patients waiting 3–6 months: 49
  • child surgical patients waiting 6–12 months: 41
  • child surgical patients waiting over 12 months: 4


  • adult patients waiting 3–6 months: 54
  • adult patients waiting 6–12 months: 8
  • adult patients waiting over 12 months: 1
  • child patients waiting 3–6 months: 1
  • child patients waiting 6–12 months: 0
  • child patients waiting over 12 months: 0


The health authority has admitted it has a ‘particular problem’ with hospital superbugs in the MidWest.[8]

A multidrug-resistant superbug was associated with 27 deaths in the midwest over a six-year period, the University of Limerick Hospitals Group has confirmed.[9]

Independent audits rated hygiene levels as 65% satisfactory in 2005,[10] rising to 85% in 2006.[11] Hospital-acquired infection affected 5.1% of patients in 2007, with a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection rate of 0.14 per 1,000 bed days in 2008.[2]

Nenagh hospital downgrading controversy[edit]

In 2009, Government plans to move certain services from Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Nenagh to Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, were met with protests from healthcare professionals and local residents, including a 4,000-person public demonstration.[12][13][14] While there would still be 24-hour access for patients referred by GPs, all surgical emergencies would be dealt with in Limerick.[15] The changes would mean an estimated 10 extra admissions per night at the Limerick emergency department.[16]

However, in June 2014 a new state-of-the-art operating theatre suite was opened to replace the single obsolete operating theatre. It includes two operating theatres, each with an anaesthetic room, prep room, disposal room and scrub room. A six-bed first stage recovery ward with a nurses base, a ten-bed second stage recovery unit (six adult and four paediatric), four bay discharge lounge, and two consultant rooms were also added. Phase 2 of the project, due to be completed in the spring of 2015, will see an additional minor procedures room with further utilities. There are also plans to build a new 18 bed ward block extension. Construction is due to start in mid 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Mid-Western Regional Hospital". Health Service Executive. 27 April 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Limerick Regional to change name again — Irish Medical Times. (21 July 2011). Retrieved on 31 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Mid-Western Cancer Centre". Mid-Western Cancer Centre. May 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Mid-Western Cancer Centre". Mid-Western Cancer Centre. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Dwane, Mike. (22 May 2013) HSE set to complete Limerick hospitals name change – Local News – Limerick Leader. Retrieved on 31 August 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Report on The National Patient Treatment Register" (PDF). The National Treatment Purchase Fund. November 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2010. [permanent dead link]
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Report on a National Acute Hospitals Hygiene Audit undertaken on behalf of the National Hospitals Office, Health Service Executive" (PDF). Health Service Executive. October 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Report on the Second National Acute Hospitals Hygiene Audit" (PDF). Health Service Executive. June 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Nenagh protest over A&E cutback plans". RTÉ. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2009. 
  13. ^ O'Duffy, Simon (28 February 2009). "Hoctor and Lowry jeered at Nenagh hospital rally". The Nenagh Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2009. 
  14. ^ "'Drastic changes' for Nenagh Hospital". 2 July 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "Consultant defends mid-west hospital plan". 13 January 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Nenagh and Ennis hospital protests come to Limerick". The Limerick Blogger. 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2010.