Non-urgent admissions and surgeries have been cancelled at Beaumont Hospital in a bid to free up beds.
It is one of a range of measures being implemented by the hospital to relieve pressure on its emergency department.
The hospital is again urging the public and GPs to avoid visits to the emergency
department today unless absolutely necessary.
Ambulances bound for the emergency department were being diverted on Friday where possible to other hospitals – but that measure is no longer in place. They are now going again to Beaumont.
The hospital is limiting admissions to urgent procedures from today.
A statement from the hospital said that it is keeping the situation under continuous review.
It said the hospital “regrets the extremely difficult conditions faced by patients and staff”.
The number of patients affected by the postponement of non urgent admissions was not available last night.
To help reduce the pressure, the hospital is asking patients who may be considering coming to the emergency department to contact their GP instead and, if possible, to avoid or delay
their visit to the department.
It is also asking GPs not to send patients to the emergency department unless absolutely necessary.
It is also encouraging those who can, to access private health facilities for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses.
However, acute emergency
situations are still being dealt with at the hospital.
More than 45,000 patients attend the emergency department every year and the numbers to date this year have increased.
Several factors have contributed to the difficult conditions in the department, including recent service developments in the hospital, which have drawn on its limited bed capacity.
However, Beaumont Hospital welcomed the recent allocation of €25m in the HSE Service Plan to begin to address delayed discharges.
This includes €8m to
increase access to short-stay beds across the Dublin area, the provision of intensive home care packages, and extra resources for the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal).
The hospital has urged the HSE to commence the allocation of these resources as a matter of urgency and to provide priority to Beaumont in the introduction of measures which will alleviate pressures on the emergency department.
Earlier this month, nurses at Beaumont staged a lunchtime protest at the gates of the hospital, saying that they were “at breaking point” with the number of patients awaiting treatment on trolleys.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) had called on management to devise a plan to address overcrowding and fill existing nursing vacancies as a matter of urgency.