The South/South West Hospital Group is strongly urging members of the public to stay at home and to follow the Government’s current Covid-19 guidelines to ensure that they do not contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.
The South/South West Hospital Group's call comes as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase across the country, as the projected trend in admissions based upon community transmission levels increase and as hospitals get busier.
Cork University Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital, University Hospital Waterford, University Hospital Kerry, Mercy University Hospital, South Tipperary General Hospital, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Bantry General Hospital, Mallow General Hospital and Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital Kilcreene are part of the South/South West Hospital Group.
The South/South West Hospital Group is urging members of the public to focus on:
- Limiting your contacts
- Do not make any unnecessary journeys outside their 5km radius
- Hand washing, cough etiquette, wearing masks in public spaces, being aware of and recognising Covid-19 symptoms and taking the appropriate course of action if symptoms present themselves.
"The emergency departments across South/South West Hospital Group are extremely busy over the last number of days due to people presenting with Covid-19 symptoms and staff who are unavailable for Covid-19 related reasons," a statement from the South/South West Hospital Group reads.
"Due to this increased level of activity and subsequent admissions, it is regrettable that some patients may experience a delay in the emergency department. Therefore management have requested that, where appropriate, the public contact their GP/out of hours service in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to attending the emergency department if their needs are not urgent.
"The intensive care units across the group are busy, however, critical care capacity in the South/South West Hospital Group 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.
"Due to the rapid increase in the number of patients with confirmed Covid-19 being admitted to hospitals, all elective work has been suspended across the group, aside from emergency surgery and only time critical elective cancer surgery are being scheduled.
"Management at the hospitals acknowledge that staying at home and staying isolated will be very difficult. Nevertheless, hospitals want to remind people again that they can save lives by staying at home and following the current Government and public health guidelines," the statement adds.