COVID outbreaks at UHG contributing to long waiting times in A&E

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University Hospital Galway has said that COVID-19 outbreaks at the hospital are contributing to long waiting times at the Emergency Department.

UHG apologised for the delays and said that the hospital is currently dealing with COVID outbreaks on two wards.

At 4pm today there were 39 patients with COVID-19 being treated in the hospital.

There has been a significant increase in very sick patients presenting to UHG who need to be admitted for treatment.

As a result of the ongoing pressures and lack of bed capacity, a number of elective procedures are being postponed. Patients are being contacted directly if their procedure is being postponed.

Time sensitive and urgent cases will not be impacted when it is safe to do them. The situation is being kept under constant review.

Patients are currently experiencing long waiting times to be admitted from the Emergency Department to a bed on a ward.

The hospital has acknowledged that these delays are very difficult for patients and their families and has apologised for the inconvenience and distress these delays cause.

Given the volume of patients attending the Emergency Department, the hospital is asking the public to contact their GP during normal surgery hours or the Westdoc GP Out of Hours service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.

In addition, the Injury Unit in Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm every day to treat a range of injuries in both adults and children over five years of age.

The hospital says it is committed to treating everyone who presents at the ED; people who are seriously injured or ill are assessed and treated as a priority and those who do not require urgent care may be waiting longer.

As part of the hospital’s COVID-19 measures, they are also asking that patients wait in the ED alone to help maintain social distancing. A companion will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.