NI hospital ‘under extreme pressure’ as more than 150 wait to be seen at A&E

Ulster Hospital has warned that its emergency department is “under extreme pressure” tonight with more than 150 people waiting to be seen.

He has warned that those who attend the department who do not have “life-threatening injuries” will not be seen for long.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said in a statement: “Ulster Hospital is under extreme pressure.

“There are more than 150 patients waiting in our Emergency Department, including 50 patients in carts.

“If your illness is not life-threatening, you will have to wait a long time.

“There are other services to help: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/…/how-use-your-health-services. ”

It comes as the Trust has also confirmed that two wards at Ulster Hospital have been forced to close for the past two weeks due to Covid outbreaks among patients and staff.

A total of 96 patients tested positive for the virus when they were admitted to the hospital in the past month, while 16 tested positive during their stay.

The Trust has said that it is their policy to admit Covid-positive patients in side rooms or bays, which are designated for patients with the virus.

Non-covid patients have also been said to have been admitted to these wards due to their clinical condition, for example if they require respiratory treatments, but they are segregated.

A Trust spokesperson said: “Two wards at Ulster Hospital have been closed due to COVID-19.

“It is the Trust’s policy to screen patients for COVID-19 upon admission to the hospital and on days 5-7 during their stay or if they develop COVID symptoms.

“During the last month, 96 patients tested positive on admission to Ulster Hospital. Another 16 patients tested positive during their stay.

“Positive patients are admitted to side rooms / bays designated for Covid patients. There are several rooms designated for positive patients. Sometimes non-Covid patients are admitted to these rooms due to their clinical condition and the need for specialized treatment (such as respiratory), however they are segregated.

“All patients are assessed for risk upon admission and prior to placement and are kept under review during their stay. This includes regular testing, per PHA guidance.

“In all the rooms there are infection prevention and control measures.”

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