Second urgent appeal for staff issued by Craigavon and Daisy Hill Emergency Departments

A second urgent appeal in 24 hours has been issued for nurses and health care assistants to work in Craigavon and Daisy Hill Hospitals’ Emergency Department,

With scores waiting at Craigavon Hospital’s ED alone and more patients waiting for admission, the Trust issued a second urgent appeal for staff in as many days.

On Wednesday afternoon, an alert was published on social media pleading for staff to come into work.

It said: “Urgent Staff Appeal - if any staff (nurses or healthcare assistants) are available to work today/tomorrow (Wednesday/Thursday) in Craigavon Area Hospital or Daisy Hill Hospital, please contact Patient Flow. Our hospitals remain extremely challenged today.”

Yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson said on social media: “Continuing Urgent Staff Appeal - if any staff (nurses or healthcare assistants) are available to work tonight/tomorrow (Tuesday/Wednesday) in Craigavon Area Hospital or Daisy Hill Hospital, please contact Patient Flow. Both Emergency Departments are still extremely busy (v. long waiting times & waits for admission to hospital).”

Staffing pressures have led to high levels of Covid-19 related absences within the Southern Health Trust as exhausted staff cope with huge numbers in the Emergency Department and across the hospitals.

Some clinics, which have some urgent patients waiting more than two and a half years to see a consultant for the first time, had attempted to hold extra clinics to deal with the backlog, but these were cancelled this week.

Only ‘Red Flag’ consultant clinics are operating and the Trust has also suspended all visiting at its sites and facilities from Midday on Friday last week, apart from End of Life visits and birthing partners.

A spokesperson for the Southern Health Trust said on Tuesday: ““Our Hospitals remain extremely challenged today. Craigavon Area Hospital is extremely busy - there are currently more than 90 people in our Emergency Department and 36 awaiting admission.

“Like all health and social care employers, we are currently experiencing very significant additional staffing pressures due to high levels of Covid-19 related absences. Our exhausted staff continue to go above and beyond to care for ill patients.

“The Southern Trust temporarily suspended visiting at all of its sites and facilities from midday on Friday 31 December (only end of life visits and birthing partners are permitted). This was in response to continued pressures, the significant rise of cases of Covid-19 in our community and in order to protect patients, visitors and staff.

“We are continuing to provide Red Flag Consultant clinics, however, a small number of non-emergency clinics had to be postponed this week and these patients have been informed.

“It is absolutely vital that patients help keep themselves and others safe by: wearing a mask, washing hands, getting vaccinated, staying apart and leaving the hospital immediately when medically fit for discharge.”

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