Emergency departments in Cork ‘under extreme pressure’; Visitation suspended in some hospitals

Emergency departments in Cork are experiencing significant demand due to very high numbers of presentations while a number of hospitals have suspended visitation due to an increase in infection.
Emergency departments in Cork ‘under extreme pressure’; Visitation suspended in some hospitals

Hospitals in Cork are experiencing significant demand on emergency department (ED) services.

Hospitals in Cork are experiencing significant demand for emergency department (ED) services while a rise in Covid-19 and flu infections has resulted in visitation being suspended at some hospitals.

The Mercy University Hospital (MUH) has renewed its appeal to the public needing less urgent treatment to avail, where possible, of other care services. It comes as the hospital’s ED continues to experience high demand for its services.

Visiting restrictions also continue at the hospital due to a spike in the number of patients presenting at the hospital with flu, Covid and winter vomiting.

Visiting will be allowed on compassionate grounds under prior arrangements with the hospital.

Hospital management has said that while the ED remains open 24/7 but that patients are experiencing significant delays. Management also assured that patient care is “a priority” at the hospital and stressed that the clinical needs of all patients in the ED are being cared for.

The Mater Hospital has also appealed to the public, where possible, to avoid its ED as services are “under extreme pressure due to very high numbers of presentations at the ED”.

“Patients who are presenting at our ED with non-urgent conditions are unfortunately experiencing lengthy waiting times to be seen.

Where possible, the Mater advises patients with non-emergency conditions to seek assistance from other parts of the health service such as minor injury units or their GP.

"However, any patient who is in need of emergency hospital care will of course be seen and the Mater would urge such patients not to delay and to seek such care.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this causes to the public and thank them for their understanding and cooperation,” a statement issued by the hospital read.

Patients with less urgent complaints are advised to contact their GPs, or to avail of services at the Mercy Local Injury Unit at St Mary’s Health Campus in Gurranabraher which is open from 8am to 6pm, the Local Injury Unit at Bantry General Hospital which operates between 8am and 7.30pm and the Local Injury Unit in Mallow General Hospital which is open from 8am to 8pm.

The public are reminded that SouthDoc is also an option for those seeking medical attention outside of working hours.

Meanwhile, visitation at Bantry General Hospital (BGH) has been suspended due to an infection outbreak.

The exception to this will be visiting for compassionate reasons. Where this is necessary, visits must be arranged with the nurse in charge of the ward by contacting the hospital's switchboard on 027-50133 and requesting the required ward.

All visiting arrangements will be reviewed weekly and visiting may be further suspended during periods of outbreak to minimise transmission of infection.

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