80 patients in Derry after LGH Accident and Emergency flood

A fireman makes his way through flood waters at Letterkenny General Hospital on Friday (photo: RTE)
A fireman makes his way through flood waters at Letterkenny General Hospital on Friday (photo: RTE)

Altnagelvin hospital received more than 80 emergency ambulance patients from Donegal after Letterkenny’s Accident and Emergency department was flooded.

By yesterday morning the Derry hospital had admitted 28 extra patients as a result of the flooding emergency at Letterkenny General Hospital on Friday evening.

The accident and emergency department remains closed after a tributary of the River Swilly overflowed on Friday and up to a metre of water gushed into the A and E department.

The flooding caused the patients to be redirected to Sligo General Hospital and Altnagelvin Hospital and the closure of the oncology department, the coronary care unit and the haematology department as well as A and E, Letterkenny hospital manager Seam Murphy said.

“The speed with which it happened was incredible. We had an hour that changed the face of the hospital,” he said.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) was contacted by Letterkenny Hospital at around 6pm on Friday evening.

Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services at the Western Trust said yesterday that the Trust was pleased to help out.

“We were sorry to hear of the serious situation which occurred at Letterkenny Hospital on Friday evening,” she said.

“Letterkenny Hospital was quick to offer its support when Altnagelvin had its fire incident in November 2012 and we were pleased to offer our support in return following their flooding incident.”

“Altnagelvin Hospital has been receiving patients east of Letterkenny and Sligo General has been receiving patients west of Letterkenny since the incident happened.

“Our Emergency Department has experienced an increase in activity since Friday receiving.

“To date we have received an additional 80 blue light ambulance patients, GP admissions and have had 28 extra admissions as a result of the incident.

“Altnagelvin Hospital remains busy but is coping well with the increase in demand and I thank the staff for all their work.

“The Western Trust will continue to work with our colleagues from Letterkenny to assess how long the situation will continue and to put plans in place to ensure all patients can be safely treated.”

It is expected that the extensive clean-up operation and contingency arrangements will continue for the coming weeks.

A Contingency Management Team is in place and is managing the situation.