Letterkenny General Hospital which was decimated last weekend by serious flooding, hopes to see a return of its Emergency Department “in the coming weeks”.
In a statement issued on Friday, the HSE state that plans are in place to introduce a phased return of the Emergency Department at Letterkenny Hospital in the coming weeks.
Sean Murphy, Hospital Manager said, “We are working towards opening the interim Emergency Department (ED) as soon as possible. The mobile diagnostic units for X-ray and CT scans are on site and we have identified a location for them.
“The plans for the interim Emergency and Radiology Departments have been agreed with clinical staff and a contractor has been appointed.
“It will be a couple of weeks before these Departments are fully operational and I can assure you that we are working around the clock to make this happen as soon as possible. However some of this work is weather dependent. Patient safety and welfare is our paramount concern and we will only start to treat patients when we are absolutely sure that the interim ED can meet those criteria.
“From tomorrow (Saturday) morning we will be providing a minor injuries treatment service for patients who come through the NoWDOC service. This is not a walk-in service and we will only be able to treat patients who are referred to the hospital from NoWDOC. This is to ensure that patients who need treatment that we cannot currently provide are not sent to this hospital which would delay the necessary treatment.
‘Since the ED at the hospital closed we advise that in the case of an emergency, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the Ambulance Service. For all other situations requiring Emergency Department Services, we advise you contact your GP or GP out of hours service (NoWDOC) in the first instance.
“The efforts of all staff in dealing with the aftermath of the flood and the re-establishment of hospital services has been immense. I cannot emphasise enough the professionalism of all staff in the hospital. Two other key players in the recovery effort are Grainne McCann, General Manager of Sligo Regional Hospital and Elaine Way, CEO of the Western Health and Social Care Trust. Letterkenny is an extremely busy hospital and it is a credit to Altnagelvin, the South West Acute and Sligo Hospitals that they have coped so well with the additional numbers of patients coming to their Emergency Departments.
“The Contingency Management Team remains in place at the hospital to manage the situation. It will be some time before we can confirm when all services will return to their previous levels. In the meantime, patients are being contacted individually to advise on alternative arrangements.
“I’d like to once more thank the local community and all of the agencies for their ongoing support and we ask the public for their continued patience and co-operation”, said Sean Murphy.