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Dublin: 1°C Friday 22 January 2021

Appeal issued to off-duty staff to report to Fermanagh hospital due to 'increasing pressures'

The appeal was issued last night and the situation has since stabilised.

Image: Shutterstock/hxdbzxy

A NORTHERN IRELAND heath trust last night issued an appeal for off-duty staff to report to a Fermanagh hospital due to “increasing pressures”. 

The chief executives of Northern Ireland’s six health and social care trusts also released a joint statement outlining the “very serious” situation.

The Western Trust issued the appeal for the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen on Twitter. 

“Attention all off-duty staff in the vicinity of SWAH. Due to increasing pressures this evening on the NI Healthcare System, we are appealing to you to contact or go directly to the hospital,” the trust said yesterday. 

Three hours later, the Western Trust thanked staff who responded to the appeal and said the “situation has since stabilised”. 

Additionally, a joint statement from the NI health and social care trusts said that early last month, the trusts issued a “stark warning” about pressure across the system in NI.

“At that time we stressed that several of Northern Ireland’s acute hospitals were already operating beyond capacity,” the statement said.

Within days, the pressure that the system was under was evident through the images shown across media outlets of multiple ambulances queuing outside Emergency Departments.

The statement said the situation is “very serious” with modelling predictions indicating that in the third week of January, health and social care “will be trying to contend with double the number of Covid positive patients compared to the current position today”. 

“Our staff, although exhausted, will once more go above and beyond to do the best they can for as many people as possible, and we thank them for it.

It will definitely not be easy and the care that we are able to provide will at times fall short of the high standards we normally deliver but we will do our very best.

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“Desperately ill patients whether Covid or non-Covid will always be the ones being prioritised.”

Yesterday, 1,112 further Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths were confirmed in NI. 

A new “stay-at-home” order came into effect in the North on Friday. It means that police have the power to order people to return home if they are out without a reasonable reason.

This will remain in place until 6 February. 

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