25 beds still closed at Altnagelvin Hospital

Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.
Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

Over two dozen beds were yesterday still closed off at Altnagelvin Hospital as a vomiting bug and staff shortages continue to impact on health care.

The Western Trust yesterday confirmed that while Ward 5 - which had been shut to new admissions over a week ago - has now re-opened, there were still 25 beds at the hospital which remained closed to new admissions.

Medical Director at the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), Dr Dermot Hughes, said: “Altnagelvin Hospital continues to deal with Infection Prevention and Control issues on an ongoing basis.

“Beds remain closed across the hospital site as a result of nursing shortages and some inpatient care work has had to be postponed. Any patient whose appointment has been postponed will be offered an alternative date.”

Mr. Hughes confirmed that to date, out of the 302 potential routine operations scheduled between July 26 andJuly 31, 260 went ahead as 42 were postponed.

“All procedures at the hospital’s Day Case Unit, all urgent cases and all cancer surgery continue to take place,” he added.

He also confirmed that efforts were ongoing to fill front line nursing vacancies.

“To address nursing levels we are sourcing additional staff from bank lists and nursing agencies.

“The Western Trust also has an enhanced recruitment process to attract registered nurses to our hospitals and recently recruited over 100 nurses due to qualify in September 2017. They have been offered permanent employment. We are also participating in a Northern Ireland wide international nurse recruitment campaign.”