THE Western Trust is at a ‘critical juncture’ as the number of patients hospitalised with Covid19 continues to rise.
The Trust has confirmed that the number of patients hospitalised with Covid19 is at its highest rate, while hundreds of staff members throughout the Trust are currently off work.
A total of 45 patients are being treated in hospital across the region.
Altnagelvin Hospital currently has 31 Covid positive patients and five of those patients are in the intensive care unit.
There are currently 14 patients in South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen with Covid-19 and two of them are in critical care beds.
Speaking at a media briefing on Monday, Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Hospitals, said, “We have increasing numbers on a daily basis and increasing at pace over the last eight to 10 days.
“It appears that the numbers are doubling every three to four days in terms of patients that are positive.
“In response to that, we have reviewed our surge plans and have put the pathways back in place that we talked about during phase one.
“Emergency arrangements are all back in place.
“Both hospitals are ready and in the middle of a surge at this time.
“In terms of our surge plan, Altnagelvin is at level three – red.
“South West Acute Hospital is at amber,” said Mrs McKay.
There are currently 345 staff members not available at Altnagelvin Hospital, while there are 115 staff members off from South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
Mrs McKay said that one third of staff are not available because off “community contacts,” and it is the “high transmission rate in our communities that is impacting staff.”
In the coming days, The Trust is expected to make further decisions on maintaining services as provision of services is “very challenging” due to the number of staff currently unavailable for work.
Mrs McKay said the Trust is very conscious that difficult decisions will have to be made on maintaining services, and the situation is being reviewed on a daily basis.
The Trust is still providing cancer surgery, clinically urgent surgery and at this time day-case orthopaedic surgery.