The Western Trust hospitals director has asked people to brace for icy and snowy conditions this winter in order to keep themselves out of Altnagelvin.
Geraldine McKay, Western Trust Director of Acute Hospitals, said: “We are committed to promoting the health and well-being of staff, clients, patients and all members of the community.
“It is essential that we make people aware of the effects of cold weather and provide advice on staying healthy.”
The hospitals director said the Trust is currently fighting across a range of fronts and that winter is an extremely busy time for staff.
Winter ailments, including coughs and colds, the flu, and Norovirus (winter vomiting disease), spread easily at this time of year and can make the genuinely sick even sicker.
People with chronic long term health problems can also see these exacerbated.
For example those with breathing problems like asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD – a disease of the lungs) find the cold damp weather makes breathing harder.
In addition icy and snowy conditions inevitably lead to slips and falls, especially amongst the elderly who are more likely to be seriously injured and immobilised by breaks and sprains.
“Prevention is always better than cure and there are things we can all do to ensure our community keeps well during the extreme weather conditions we are facing and throughout the rest of the winter,” said Ms. McKay.
“I would encourage everyone to stay well this winter and visit the Stay Well website.”