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43 COVID-19 patients being treated at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, three of them in intensive care

Western Trust says A&E department at the local hospital is 'extremely busy'

altnagelvin

There are currently 43 COVID-19 patients being treated at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

The Western Trust, which runs the hospital, said that three of these patients are being treated in intensive care.

Geraldine McKay, the Trust's Director of Acute Services said the Health and Social Care system as a whole manages increased pressures during the winter months.

“Over the past number of years, the level of complex and serious conditions, particularly amongst those who are vulnerable due to frailty and other conditions of aging, the prevalence of flu and other respiratory conditions at this time of year, and the challenges of helping patients to return home after a hospital stay does mean that our hospitals can run at a higher level of occupancy.

“This, coupled with managing a high number of COVID-19 cases, does mean that our hospitals are currently running beyond funded bed capacity.

“In addition as the number of positive patients in the local community have increased over the last number of days, the Trust is now preparing for 3rd surge with increasing COVID related admissions.”

Mrs McKay said the emergency department at Altnagelvin continues to be 'extremely busy'.

“There has been a high number of attendances over the past number of days,” she said.

“People are seen, assessed and prioritised on the basis of individual need and staff are working very hard to ensure all patients are treated in a timely manner.

“Some people who attend the Emergency Department may be required to wait longer than we would like and we sincerely apologise for this.

“Patients are reminded to attend alone. One person only to accompany a patient where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff. You must also wear a face covering.

“We continuously encourage the Public to utilise all available community services, including your GP and to only attend the Emergency Department when absolutely necessary.”

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