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06th Jan 2020

HSE issue apology for high level of activity in their Emergency Departments

Rory Cashin


Some hospitals have issued visiting restrictions in order to protect the safety of patients and visitors.

The Health Service Executive has issued a public apology for the high level of activity in their Emergency Departments around Ireland.

They have stated that the flu season spiked over Christmas and the New Year 2019/2020, and that it is now at levels significantly ahead of those experienced this time last year due to the fact that it arrived four weeks earlier than it did in 2018/2019.

As per the HSE statement:

“The HSE acknowledges that attendances in our hospital Emergency Departments are currently very high, and staff are working hard to cope with the increased demand for services. GPs, community services and hospital staff are dealing with a significant surge in patient demand. We apologise to all of those affected by this surge in activity and we are making every effort manage and improve the situation for our patients and our staff.”

They have announced that some hospitals have issued some restrictions on visitors in order to protect the safety of both visitors and patients, with the circulation of infectious illnesses, such as flu, norovirus and RSV, all steps to minimise the possibility of exposure to these illnesses should be taken.

The HSE also reported that as of 2pm today (Monday 6 January) the total number of patients on trolleys was 467, down from the 543 reported to be waiting on trolleys at 8am on Sunday 5 January.

They have also urged people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated for the flu, with the HSE’s Dr Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director of Public and Child Health, making the following statement:

“We know this year’s vaccine is a good match for the current strain of flu and the best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated. Flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease.

“People need to remember that flu causes severe illness and death in Ireland every year. That is why those who are most vulnerable to the complications of flu need to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is the only defence against flu, yet every year many people in the at risk groups fail to get vaccinated and so put themselves at risk of serious illness or even death.”

They have also shared some basic steps on how to stop the spread of the flu:

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