33 ‘very sick’ people awaiting admission to an ‘under pressure’ Altnagelvin

Over 30 ‘very sick’ people were awaiting admission to Altnagelvin on Monday morning amid considerable pressure at the hospital’s emergency department.

The Western Trust urged people only to attend the hospital if absolutely necessary.

Eighty-eight people were waiting in the ED on Monday with 33 ‘very sick people’ awaiting admission to hospital for further treatment.

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The health authority said freeing up beds in the hospital for new admissions is a priority and asked for the public’s help.

A&E

“We are urging the public that if patients are deemed medically fit by the consultant/senior doctor to go home, they and their families should ensure there are arrangements in place to be picked up promptly on the day of discharge.

"Medical and nursing teams can help you make these arrangements,” the Trust stated.

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People are also asked only to attend if necessary.

“If you are attending Altnagelvin ED today, please come alone due capacity in the waiting area (exception for children and vulnerable adults).

“If you have an urgent, non-emergency medical situation, please use the Phone First service on 0300 020 6000 where medical personnel will direct you to the best route of treatment. Please also consider other healthcare alternatives.

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“If your situation is life-threatening, a medical or mental health emergency, call 999 immediately or proceed straight to your nearest Emergency Department,” the Western Trust stated.

Early this month the ‘Journal’ reported how 2,000 people who attended Altnagelvin A&E in September were triaged as requiring ‘immediate’ or ‘very urgent’ treatment.

In total 5,586 people attended the Altnagelvin ED in September making it the fifth busiest A&E in the north during that month.