57% of notified incidents were at Altnagelvin

Ward 4  in Altnagelvin Hospital is closed to admissions after vomiting and diarrhoea outbreak.
Ward 4 in Altnagelvin Hospital is closed to admissions after vomiting and diarrhoea outbreak.

Fifty seven per cent of major incidents notified at hospitals in Northern Ireland over the past two years involved Altnagelvin, according to the Health Minister Edwin Poots.

Four incidents at the local hospital were declared in response to various events such as the response to a flooding incident in Donegal, a fire, an overheating incident that triggered a fire alarm and a major road accident.

East Londonderry MLA Gregory Campbell asked his DUP colleague how many potential major incidents were dealt with across Northern Ireland’s hospitals between 2010 and 2014.

According to the Minister a fire and water damage at the Londonderry hospital on November 23 was one of only two major incidents declared at hospitals in 2012.

The other incident that year was at the Causeway Hospital where the “difficulty maintaining emergency department services (on review a business continuity plan was subsequently instigated instead)” resulted in a notification.

Last year three incidents involving Altnagelvin were declared by the Western Trust.

Between July 26 and August 19 all of the Trust’s hospitals provided support to the Republic of Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) following a major flooding incident at Letterkenny.

On November 18, a water tank and insulation overheated at Altnagelvin sparking a fire alarm.

And on January 8 of this year a horrific multiple car crash between Sion Mills and Victoria Bridge. which sadly resulted in the death of a 62-year-old man, also resulted in a notification due to multiple casualties being admitted to hospital.

Elsewhere, a major road accident with multiple casualties resulted in a notification from the South West Acute Hospital, whilst the necessity of calling in extra staff to deal with the increased volume of patients at the Royal Victoria Hospital emergency department on January 8, also resulted in a notification.

No major incidents were declared at any of Northern Ireland’s hospitals for the financial years 2010/11 and 2011/12.