More than 300 staff are unable to work at Letterkenny University Hospital this week aide to Covid-19.
The number has jumped by 100 in the past five days as outbreaks continue at the hospital.
Saolta has confirmed that the large number of absences is due to a combination of staff having COVID-19, symptomatic staff, staff who are close contacts of a positive case and staff who are cocooning because they are considered in an at-risk category.
As of 8pm last night there were 72 patients with COVID-19 being treated in LUH with two patients receiving treatment in the ICU.
Visiting remains curtailed at the hospital as it deals with a number of outbreak areas.
“There is ongoing pressure on bed availability at Letterkenny due to the increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 admitted over the last week and the number of staff absences due to COVID-19,” a spokesperson confirmed to Donegal Daily.
“The limited bed capacity means that patients are facing long waiting times to be admitted from the Emergency Department to a bed on a ward. The hospital acknowledges that these delays are very difficult for patients and their families and apologises for the inconvenience and distress these delays cause.”
All routine surgeries and day surgeries are being postponed in order to redeploy staff to areas where there are staff shortages. Patients are being contacted directly if their procedure or appointment is postponed. Time sensitive, urgent surgeries are going ahead when it is safe to do them.
Ambulatory gynaecology, endoscopy and other non-theatre day cases are going ahead. Outpatient appointments are also going ahead. People are being advised come to their appointments if they haven’t been contacted by the hospital to postpone.
Currently visiting is only being facilitated on compassionate grounds, on an exceptional basis only. To arrange a visit on compassionate grounds, please contact the ward manager in advance.
The nominated support person/visitor must complete a COVID-19 screening checklist and follow the public health guidance, including wearing a FFP2 surgical face mask (when requested) or surgical face mask and performing good hand hygiene regularly.
There are separate arrangements in place for access to the maternity department for nominated support partners.