Cork hospital moves to reassure the public that patient and staff care is 'the main priority' 

Cork hospital moves to reassure the public that patient and staff care is 'the main priority' 

Bantry General Hospital. Management at Bantry General Hospital (BGH) have moved to reassure the public that "patient and staff care is the main priority at BGH" following comments which came to light about the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU). Picture: Denis Minihane.

Management at Bantry General Hospital (BGH) have moved to reassure the public that "patient and staff care is the main priority" following comments which came to light about admissions to intensive care unit (ICU) in the region.

The Echo reported today that GPs were informed yesterday afternoon that Bantry General Hospital was under “extreme pressure” and that it could soon reach a point where ICU admissions in the West Cork area are rationed.

In a memo, seen by The Echo, a senior hospital source informed GPs and healthcare workers that Bantry General was facing increased Covid-19 admissions and reduced staff as well as an outbreak of Covid-19 on the wards.

“If a GP is contemplating referring someone for admission, the expected benefits of admission must outweigh the significant risks of admission to the current hospital environment.

“We may soon reach a point where ICU admissions are rationed and only offered to those with the best chance of survival,” the memo said.

This afternoon, a statement said that the hospital has suspended non-time dependent services due to the rapid influx of patients with Covid-19 but that patients who require urgent care will continue to be treated.

"Due to the rapid increase in the number of patients with confirmed Covid-19 being admitted to the hospital and the projected trend in admissions based upon community transmission levels, Bantry General Hospital has suspended non-time dependent services including inpatient, day case and outpatient services. 

"Some outpatient clinics will proceed virtually if clinically appropriate.

"Emergency and urgent time-sensitive procedures and care will continue to be provided.

"Bantry General Hospital remains open and any member of the public who is seriously ill and requires emergency care will be assessed and treated as appropriate," the statement said.

Hospital management said that the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at Bantry General Hospital is busy at this time and stated that the situation is "being managed and treated with the utmost urgency".

However, the statement added that the cooperation and support of the community is "paramount".

"For patients requiring critical care in an ICU setting, the hospital has the capability to transfer critical care patients to the appropriate site as critical care capacity across the region is actively managed as a group resource; thereby ensuring patients always have access to the best possible care setting with inter-hospital transfer as required. 

"The necessary arrangements are in place across all sites to upscale critical care capacity should that be required.

"As has been the case over the past number of months, there are a number of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases and there are also some patients on the Covid pathway who are awaiting a result," the statement continued.

It concluded in stating that the Crisis Management Team are actively managing the situation and said that the hospital continues to implement the appropriate Covid-19 controls and management protocols.

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