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Hospital Statement

06 January 2020

Urgent Appeal by Hospital Management for people to contact their GP prior to attending Extremely Busy Hospital Emergency Departments.


Due to a high volume of people presenting at Cork University Hospital and Mercy University Hospital, strict visiting restrictions are now in place to try and prevent the spread of flu. Hospital management are appealing to both adults and children who are experiencing any signs or symptoms of influenza to contact their local health provider (GP/ Southdoc) in the first instance prior to attending the Emergency Department.


The Emergency Department at Cork University Hospital and Mercy University Hospital are currently extremely busy and in the interest of patient safety, the hospitals are reminding the public that they should only present at the ED when referred by their local GP.


It is also important to note, It is not too late to get the flu vaccine and it is provided free of charge for people in at-risk groups, which includes everyone aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, anyone over six months of age with a long term illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes, cancer or those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment.


This appeal to contact your GP before presenting at the Emergency Departments is made in the overall interest of patient safety.


Yesterday, there was a meeting between the INMO, the South / South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) and senior HSE executives. The meeting was adjourned until Wednesday January 8th to allow consideration of the issues raised by the INMO. Additional measures agreed with the South/South West Hospital Group are in place in order to improve bed capacity. Such measures include the cancellation of elective surgery, stopping non-emergency admissions and sourcing extra bed capacity from the public and private sectors.


The additional support arrangements being provided by Community Healthcare colleagues were also outlined. These include the provision of home care packages, transitional care beds, convalescent beds and long-term care beds for patients who no longer require acute medical care.