Western Trust reduces services to devote resources to virus

Sat, 21/03/2020 - 09:22 -- Editor

The Western Trust must curtain certain services in order to devote staff to dealing with the coronavirus.

This will involve reducing the number of non-urgent outpatient appointments. Emergency surgery, cancer surgery and ante-natal appointments will be unaffected.

In a statement the Trust said: "Health service activity across Northern Ireland will unfortunately have to be significantly curtailed as resources are diverted to care for coronavirus patients.

Following the Ministers statement on Friday 13 March 2020, the Western Trust has moved to reducing the number of non-urgent outpatient appointments, day cases, inpatient and diagnostic work. This will allow us to free up our resources in order to provide hospital care for the most seriously ill Covid-19 patients.

All emergency surgery, red flag / cancer surgery and procedures deemed clinically urgent by senior teams will proceed. Ante-natal appointments will not be affected.

For patients who need follow up as outpatients, Trusts are planning for greater use of telephone contact and other digital technology, where appropriate.

Patients will be contacted directly by the Trust with regard to any cancellations or changes to already scheduled appointments. Patients should note that they may be contacted by a ‘withheld/private number’. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.

The Western Trust will also be focusing sustained attention on ensuring patients who are medically well are promptly discharged from hospital, with appropriate care arrangements, to ensure hospital beds are available for any increase in admissions.

We apologise to our patients who will have appointments and treatments postponed. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable."