Inpatient and day surgery at LUH deferred due to rising Covid cases

All but very urgent and time critical inpatient and day surgery at Letterkenny University Hospital is being deferred from today.

Saolta has confirmed that outpatient clinics will also be restricted however, some will take place virtually unless it is absolutely necessary for patients to be seen.

The hospital group says the measures are being taken to help the hospital manage the significant and sustained increase in the number of COVID-19 cases currently being treated in the hospital and say the rising numbers in the community are likely to lead to further hospitalisations.

The deferrals will be for a two week period initially and will be kept under review.

As of yesterday evening, 45 Covid-19 patients are being treated in Letterkenny University Hospital.

Statement in full:

Letterkenny University Hospital is deferring all but very urgent and time critical inpatient and day surgery from today January 5th. Outpatient clinics will also be restricted however some of these will take place virtually unless it is absolutely necessary for patients to be seen. These measures are been taken to help the hospital manage the significant and sustained increase in the number of COVID-19 cases currently being treated in the hospital. In addition, the rising numbers in the community are likely to lead to further hospitalisations. The deferrals will be for a two week period initially and will be kept under review.

Commenting Seán Murphy, Hospital Manager at LUH said, “We regret the impact that these deferrals will have on our patients but it is a really important part of maintaining critical and emergency services. We are seeing a significant and sustained increase in the number of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and as of 8pm yesterday evening, January 4th, there are 45 COVID-19 positive patients being treated in LUH.

“A small number of urgent cancer and time-critical inpatient and day case procedures will proceed. We are notifying patients directly if their appointment or procedure is being deferred. It is really important that patients who are attending the hospital for a procedure continue to follow all the public health guidance including wearing a face mask. We also remind patients to attend the hospital alone, unless the support of another person is essential.

“Visiting restrictions remain in place at the hospital. Members of the public should not visit the hospital except on compassionate grounds and these visits must be arranged in advance with the nurse manager on the ward.

“The hospital continues to be extremely busy and we would also like to remind the public that we encourage them to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of emergencies. If your health problem is not an emergency you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours or the NoWDOC GP out of hours service, in the first instance.

“In relation to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, we anticipate that the roll-out of the vaccines to front line workers in the hospital will commence this week. This is a very positive step and we will work hard to get all staff vaccinated as quickly as possible.”