News

Staff shortages and vomiting bug cause bed closures at Northern Ireland trust

Approximately 25 beds closed to admissions at Altnagelvin Area Hospital to ensure patient safety.
Altnagelvin Hospital

A key regional hospital in Northern Ireland has closed beds because of nursing staff shortages and a vomiting bug.

About 25 beds have been temporarily closed to admissions at Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Londonderry to ensure patient safety.

All non-urgent routine procedures will be cancelled in the coming days, the Western Health and Social Care Trust said.

Infection control measures

Trust medical director Dermot Hughes said infection-control measures had been put in place and added: The closures include elective orthopaedics due to increased instances of vomiting and diarrhoea and other beds throughout the hospital have been closed as a result of available nurse staffing levels and delays in patient discharges.

The trust is reviewing the situation daily to ensure we maximise bed capacity, and ensure the most urgent scheduled operations and treatments are done.

He

A key regional hospital in Northern Ireland has closed beds because of nursing staff shortages and a vomiting bug.


Altnagelvin Area Hospital  Picture: Alamy

About 25 beds have been temporarily closed to admissions at Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Londonderry to ensure patient safety.

All non-urgent routine procedures will be cancelled in the coming days, the Western Health and Social Care Trust said.

Infection control measures

Trust medical director Dermot Hughes said infection-control measures had been put in place and added: ‘The closures include elective orthopaedics due to increased instances of vomiting and diarrhoea and other beds throughout the hospital have been closed as a result of available nurse staffing levels and delays in patient discharges.   

‘The trust is reviewing the situation daily to ensure we maximise bed capacity, and ensure the most urgent scheduled operations and treatments are done.’

He added that people should avoid visiting the hospital if they are feeling unwell and visitors should wash their hands before and after visiting.

Recruitment problems

Dr Hughes told BBC Radio Foyle that the trust had problems recruiting staff and had been trying to recruit internationally.

He said: ‘It's not simply that we have a shortage of nurses, we simply do not have enough staff applying for posts.’

RCN representative Dessie Lowry told the BBC the nursing shortage was a significant problem elsewhere in Northern Ireland too.

‘Successive governments haven't invested in nurse education,’ he said.

In other news

 

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs