Altnagelvin Hospital ward re-opens after vomiting bug

Altnagelvin Hospital.
Altnagelvin Hospital.

A ward in Altnagelvin Hospital that was forced to close because of a vomiting bug has re-opened to admissions.

Earlier this week, Ward Five was forced to close because of a vomiting bug and because of a shortage in nursing staff.

Medical Director at the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), Dr Dermot Hughes said: “Altnagelvin Hospital continues to deal with Infection Prevention and Control issues on an ongoing basis. The staff have been able to successfully address issues in Ward 5 (elective orthopaedic ward) and it has now reopened to admissions."

"However, beds remain closed across the hospital site as a result of nursing shortages and some inpatient care work has had to be postponed. Any patient whose appointment has been postponed will be offered an alternative date. It is important to note that out of the 302 potential routine operations scheduled between 26 July and 31 July, 260 went ahead as planned and 42 were postponed. All procedures at the hospital’s Day Case Unit, all urgent cases and all cancer surgery continue to take place."

Dr Hughes continued: “To address nursing levels we are sourcing additional staff from bank lists and nursing agencies. The Western Trust also has an enhanced recruitment process to attract registered nurses to our hospitals and recently recruited over 100 nurses due to qualify in September 2017. They have been offered permanent employment. We are also participating in Northern Ireland wide international nurse recruitment campaign.

"The situation at the hospital is reviewed on a daily basis with a view to making best use of our available bed capacity, and to ensure our most clinically urgent patients receive their scheduled operations and treatments."