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Western Trust hospitals ‘over capacity’ with Covid patients

THERE are no plans to use Omagh Hospital to alleviate current Covid pressures in other hospitals which have been treating rising numbers of Covid 19 patients.

For the past week, Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry and South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) in Enniskillen have been operating at over capacity as the number of hospitalised Covid patients continue to rise.

There have been 43 admissions and 50 discharges of Covid patients in the past week at Western Trust hospitals.

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The seven-day incident rate for positive cases per 100,000 people in Fermanagh and Omagh stands at around 181.5 per 100k, for the week of November 6-12. The previous week’s rate was 154.9.

At midnight on Friday, the Western Trust had 73 Covid19 patients between the two hospitals – 17 in SWAH and 56 in Altnagelvin.

Five patients were in ICU in Altnagelvin Hospital, while zero patients were in ICU in SWAH.

Altnagelvin Hospital was operating at 3.62 per-cent over capacity, while SWAH was operating at 4.76 per-cent over capacity.

The department explains that any hospital operating over capacity indicates that it is beyond its current available bed capacity.

In terms of hospital beds, 11.31 per-cent were Covid-occupied in SWAH, while 17.76 per-cent of beds in Altnagelvin were Covid-occupied.

Currently, the majority of health services including surgeries are being carried out in Omagh Hospital, and previously, the Trust said it was possible that staff from Omagh may be redeployed to the other hospitals due to staff shortages and stretched services.

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When asked if there was any plans to further utilise Omagh Hospital to alleviate some pressures which are being experienced, the Western Trust said this was not part of their plan.

A spokesman for the Western Trust said, “The Western Trust does not intend to reconfigure current inpatient services provided at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex at this time, due to the ongoing surge of Covid-19.”

Meanwhile, the Southern Health Trust, which covers much of the Dungannon and wider south Tyrone area, have already reported increased pressures over the last week.

On Thursday, the Trust’s chief executive – Shane Devlin – was reported as saying his staff were treating twice as many Covid patients as they did during the fist wave.

“In the first wave we had 62 inpatients who were positive for Covid-19. Now, that has grown to an almighty number,” he said.

“At the start of this month there were 118 Covid positive patients in our system.

“The vast majority are in Craigavon Area Hospital but there are also some in Lurgan and Daisy Hill.”

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