Call to help with early discharge as pressure mounts on Derry & Enniskillen Emergency Departments

The Western Trust has urged people to help with the early discharge of patients at its hospitals in Derry and Enniskillen as pressure mounts on A&E departments.

In a video recorded by the Trust, Emergency Department Consultant Darren Lillis said it was vital patients who are medically fit to leave were facilitated to do so to free up beds for patients who need them.

Altnagelvin Hospital’s Emergency Department was deemed “extremely busy” yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) with 86 people in the Emergency Department and 44 people awaiting admission.

Dr Lillis said: “I’d like to thank the general public and the local population for adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines.

Emergency Department Consultant Darren Lillis.

“Our hospitals continue to be under significant pressure and it is important that we continue to adhere to the local guidelines with regards to the pandemic.

“As we continue to deal with the pressure, it is important that patients that are medically fit for discharge are able to leave the hospital expeditiously and that family are able to facilitate patients getting home.

“This allows patients who are critically sick in the Emergency Department and requiring ongoing care and hospitalisation to be able to avail of a hospital bed.”

“To conclude,” he added, “I’d like to emphasise the importance of hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing. Stay safe.”

A spokesperson for the Trust said; “We are asking the public to help us to facilitate the early discharge of their loved ones from hospital.

“Please only come to ED if you have a medical or mental health emergency. Please find suitable alternative healthcare options available to you, such as your GP Out of Hours or the Urgent Care and Treatment Centre at the Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.

“If you are attending the ED. Please observe all the COVID-19 measures in place. Phone First is in operation in our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care and Treatment Centre. The number to ring is: 0300 020 6000 Text: 0870 240 5152.”

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