27/07/2017

Beds Closed At Altnagelvin Area Hospital Amid Bug Outbreak

All non-urgent routine procedures have been cancelled at Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Londonderry in an effort to stop the spread of a vomiting bug.

The Western Health Trust said that approximately 25 beds at the hospital are to be "temporarily closed" at the hospital, also citing staff shortages and a "number of ongoing challenges".

It is understood that up to six wards at the hospital have seen an increase in instances of vomiting and diarrhoea.

A number of infection prevention and control measure have been implemented at the hospital.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said: "This latest ward closure and the cancellation of many patients' appointments at Altnagelvin have come as the combination of a number of factors, some of which are beyond the control of the Trust or Department but others which are recurrent.
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"Patient safety is paramount and therefore it is vital that all possible steps are taken to ensure infection control. I would urge people to heed the Trust's advice in this regard.

"However, issues around workforce numbers are sadly symptomatic of major historic ongoing faults in workforce planning. We have an insufficient number of qualified staff and those that we do have are overstretched. This problem is only going to become more pronounced in the future unless action is taken now.

"Delays in patient discharges are often due to a lack of suitable home care packages to support discharged patients. This is an area in dire need of urgent and major investment.

"Patients and staff cannot afford to be let down by a failure to bring about transformation of our healthcare system but the current political stagnation is failing them miserably."

(MH/LM)

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