Vaccination of staff at north west hospitals to begin this week

Roll-out of vaccine comes as both hospitals defer procedures due to mounting Covid-19 cases

Visiting restrictions at Sligo University Hospital

Sligo University Hospital: Steps taken to maintain critical and emergency services

The vaccination of staff at the north west’s two acute hospitals is to begin this week.

The Saolta University Health Care Group, which manages Letterkenny University Hospital and Sligo University Hospital, said it is expected that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines to front line workers at the hospital will commence in the coming days.

The vaccination of staff at other hospitals in the group is already underway.

Staff at University Hospital Galway were among those who received the first doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine when they were administered last week.

Letterkenny University Hospital manager Seán Murphy  said: “This is a very positive step and we will work hard to get all staff vaccinated as quickly as possible.” 

The roll-out of the vaccine comes as both hospitals deferred all but very urgent and time-critical inpatient and day surgery due to the increase in Covid-19 cases. 

Outpatient clinics at both hospitals have also been cancelled although some of these will take place virtually unless it is absolutely necessary for patients to be seen, the Saolta group said.

The deferrals will be for a two week period initially and will be kept under review.

Sligo University Hospital treats patients from parts of south Donegal. Hospital manager Grainne McCann said: “We regret the impact that these deferrals will have on our patients but it is a really important part of maintaining critical and emergency services.

 “A small number of urgent cancer and time-critical inpatient and day-case procedures will proceed. We are notifying patients directly if their appointment or procedure is being deferred. We ask patients who are attending the hospital for a procedure to continue to follow all the public health guidance including wearing a face mask. We also remind patients to attend the hospital alone, unless the support of another person is essential.

 “Visiting restrictions remain in place at the hospital. Members of the public should not visit the hospital except on compassionate grounds and these visits should be arranged in advance with the nurse manager on the ward.

 “The hospital continues to be extremely busy and we would also like to remind the public that we encourage them to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of emergencies. If your health problem is not an emergency you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours or the NoWDOC GP out of hours service, in the first instance.”

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