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Temporary A&E opens at Letterkenny Hospital after massive flood damage

A freak storm caused major damage to the Emergency Department at the hospital in July.

Reception area in Letterkenny Hospital (File photo)
Reception area in Letterkenny Hospital (File photo)

A TEMPORARY EMERGENCY Department has opened this morning at Letterkenny Hospital after the main department was badly damaged by flooding more than three weeks ago.

The interim department is being opened on a phased basis: only ambulance admissions will be accepted today, and it will be several days before patients will be able to turn up to the department for treatment.

“It is essential that the reintroduction of emergency admissions is carefully managed on a phased basis to ensure that all processes in this interim facility are appropriately brought on line and not overloaded by high volumes of patients,” said Dr Sinead O’Gorman, a consultant in emergency medicine at the hospital.

The hospital manager said that staff and local people in the area had worked hard to help clear the flood waters from the building.

“We are a long way from bringing our hospital back to its pre-flood condition but this is a huge step along the way,” said Sean Murphy.

The hospital’s Emergency Department has been closed since 26 July following a freak storm which caused major damage to the building.

The department had to be evacuated as water levels rose, and patients who were well enough to go home or to a community hospital or nursing home were discharged. The HSE said 40 per cent of hospital services were affected by the torrential rain and flooding.

Emergency admissions were diverted to Sligo Regional Hospital – 75 miles from Letterkenny – and Erne Hospital in Enniskillen.

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A spokesperson from the IAEM said earlier this month that massive building works would have to be carried out to restore the department.

“It’s not a question of putting a coat of paint on it – things have literally been destroyed,” he said.

Read: Several months before it is known if Letterkenny hospital can fully reopen >

Read: Clerys lays off 86 staff ‘for at least four weeks’ after storm damage >

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