Northern Trust hospitals face pressure levels ‘normally seen in January’ over weekend

Northern Health and Social Care Trust hospitals face conditions similar to those in mid-January with 56 patients awaiting bed on Friday night, according to a senior manager.

a Trust urged the public to visit hospital emergency departments only if they need “urgent care” and said the Antrim region hospital was operating at 110% capacity and 104% Causeway Hospital.

Wendy Magowan said UTV the Trust is facing a “very difficult situation” this weekend and is seeing the “type of numbers that would normally be seen on a Monday or Tuesday in mid-January”.

“We are currently at 20% of the critical capacity of the hospital. We have to be very careful with our resources, health and social services are under immense pressure at all levels, ”she said.

“I appeal to the public to be patient with our staff, they work exceptionally hard.

“We have no beds tonight. However, intensive care operates as a system throughout Northern Ireland. I know there are intensive care beds in the system tonight and if anyone needs an intensive care bed they will be moved to one of the beds in Northern Ireland.

“This hospital is currently operating at 110% of its capacity and has been for a few weeks now. “

The intensive care unit at Antrim Hospital is also currently full. Covid patients represent seven of the 10 beds.

As of Friday, 1,087 more confirmed cases of the virus were reported, along with two more deaths of patients who had previously tested positive.

Hospitals in the region remain under pressure with 397 Covid-positive patients, including 34 in intensive care.

Prime Minister Paul Givan and Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill have launched a new public information campaign, Keep Making Safer Choices.

They urged the public to “continue to be careful” and keep in mind that Covid-19 is still circulating in the community.

Mr. Givan said the public’s actions had “no doubt saved lives,” and urged the efforts to continue.

“The little things each of us do can have a big impact. By getting vaccinated, wearing a face covering in crowded places or indoors, and having regular tests, we are all playing our part in making a difference. move society forward. “

Speaking to Co Armagh media on Friday, Ms O’Neill said avoiding another lockdown was “a gift from the public”.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely, our cases remain high, so we have to keep a very, very close eye on this,” she said.

“We want to avoid again any situation where we go into a foreclosure scenario, which is why today we launched a new campaign around protecting you, protecting your family, making good personal choices to keep you safe.

“I think it’s a combination of those things that will get us through the winter months, so we want to avoid any scenario where you re-impose restrictions, making people’s lives difficult again. But it does. part of our gift to avoid this by making good choices. “