Following the reopening of an interim Emergency Department at Letterkenny Hospital on Saturday last, the HSE have confirmed this evening that since Sunday the area covered by ambulance admissions was increased and NoWDOC referrals from Letterkenny and Inisowen were also accepted.
Today, Monday, the hospital is continuing to increase access and has moved into Phase 3 of the reopening. With effect from midday today, the interim Emergency Department is now open to all ambulance and GP admissions covering the North and West of Donegal (north of the Barnsmore Gap). In effect people will be able to ‘walk-in’ to the hospital and present with an illness.
In a statement the HSE add: “It is anticipated the ED will be open to self–presenting patients from noon on Tuesday 20th August and this will restore the emergency department to walk in patients. Until that time, for any emergency requiring an ambulance please dial 112 or 999 as normal. Non emergency patients should continue to contact their GP in the first instance and should not attend Altnagelvin Hospital.”
Sean Murphy, Hospital Manager said, “The re-opening of the Emergency Department on a phased basis is essential so that we can deliver the services in a safe and tested way. The weekend opening to ambulances and some GP referrals was a success and we are continuing to extend the areas for which we can accept ambulance and GP referrals over the next 24 hours. The ability to accept walk-in patients from tomorrow, Tuesday 20th August 2013, will be a further milestone towards the resumption of full services. We will also be reviewing tomorrow the timetable for increasing our catchment to South Donegal. The delivery of interim Radiology and Emergency Departments capable of managing the workload of one of the country’s busiest Regional emergency hospitals within 21 days is an extraordinary achievement. I particularly want to thank all of our staff, Estates, and the Contractors who have toiled long and hard to put the interim Emergency Department and all of the current services in place. I would also like to thank the local community who has supported us through the last 21 days and ask for your continued patience and co-operation over the coming days in order to ensure a safe transition to these new interim departments which have had to be effectively built from scratch.
“I want to sincerely thank our colleagues in Sligo Regional Hospital, Altnagelvin Hospital and South West Acute Hospital (Enniskillen) for their support in treating our emergency patients. Their co-operation was essential to our ability to maintain an emergency cover for the people of Donegal. Our thanks must also go to our colleagues in the National Ambulance Service, Primary Care and Community Services for all of the resources, help and support that they provided and continue to provide. I look forward to the continuing development of the hospital and to bringing all of our services back on line over the coming months.”
Patients can get the latest information on www.hse.ie/letterkenny or from radio and press adverts.