Wednesday 14 November 2018

Further disruption of hospital services is expected next week

Hospitals countrywide are uncertain of how much work can reopen while the state of the roads will influence the restart of community services. Stock image
Hospitals countrywide are uncertain of how much work can reopen while the state of the roads will influence the restart of community services. Stock image
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Patients are facing into another week of disruption, and cancellations of some hospital appointments, although the plan is to try to resume as many services as possible.

Hospitals have been reduced to just essential services since Wednesday, generating a huge waiting-list backlog.

Beaumont Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Rotunda Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Louth County Hospital, Cavan and Monaghan Hospitals said their outpatient clinics will resume on Monday.

However, patients with appointments for inpatient and day case surgery cases are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will be directly contacted.

All gynaecology outpatient appointments in the Rotunda have been cancelled.

Hospitals countrywide are uncertain of how much work can reopen while the state of the roads will influence the restart of community services.

Doctors are warning the public of the heightened risk of serious slips and falls as more people try to escape "cabin fever" over the weekend and navigate treacherous paths.

People will be anxious to attend Mass and other religious services.

Dublin orthopaedic surgeon Paddy Kenny said a fractured hip in an older person can have serious consequences, including leaving them with a loss of confidence they may find difficult to regain.

Meanwhile, hundreds of staff are staying overnight in hospital in make-shift bedding arrangements, including on trolleys, camp beds and mattresses in offices.

Dr James Gray, an emergency consultant in Tallaght Hospital who lives 30km away, said he was delighted to be able to be accommodated at the hospital in recent nights and be ready for duty for patients in response to the "extraordinary event".

Some nurses criticised arrangements in St James's Hospital saying free breakfasts did not materialise.

A spokeswoman said complementary meals are being provided and there has been great teamwork.

Nursing Homes Ireland said private nursing homes have 398 beds available in 105 facilities nationwide to provide respite or transitional care of patients during the bad weather.

Irish Independent

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