Emergency Departments at Daisy Hill Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital are under severe pressure.
THE A&E facilities at Daisy Hill Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital are experiencing "severe pressures" this evening, it has been confirmed.
Patients are being urged to use the 'Phone First' service in order to alleviate the pressure on the Emergency Departments (EDs) at the local hospitals.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service also reports extreme pressures this evening. The public are being urged to dial 999 in the event of an emergency, for life threatening conditions, only.
A spokesperson for the Health and Social Care Board said: “Whilst staff are continuing to work hard to ensure patients receive the treatment and care that they need, it is regrettable that some people are having to wait longer to be treated in Emergency Departments, or to be admitted to hospital, than normal.
“If you have a life threatening condition or are seriously ill or injured then the Emergency Department is the appropriate place to go. On arrival at Emergency Departments all patients are assessed by a triage nurse and then dealt with in clinical priority. Patients who are most ill must be seen first.
"Patients not assessed as emergency cases are likely to have to wait for a long time. Also, the need to prevent crowding in our Emergency Departments remains a key priority in reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Please do not attend unless you require emergency care.”
Patients and their families are being urged to support timely discharge from hospitals as the health service deals with escalating pressures in our EDs. There is a continued focus on supporting patients to return home or to a community setting as quickly as possible when their hospital treatment has been completed.
For patients whose preferred place of care, or arrangement for care is not immediately available, an alternative interim arrangement will be facilitated. The essential co-operation of patients and their families/carers on discharge will help free up beds during this extremely challenging time.
For urgent care, treatment that is not life threatening the ‘Phone First’ service, being trialed across the Western, Southern and Northern HSC Trust areas helps redirect patients from busy Emergency Departments to other more appropriate services.
Patients are asked to ‘Phone First’ before attending the Emergency Departments (EDs) at Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area Hospitals.
How to contact the 'Phone First' service:
Craigavon Area Hospital / Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry / South Tyrone Hospital Minor Injuries Unit, Dungannon
Service operates 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Phone First 0300 123 3 111
Interpreter Now app: https://interpreternow.co.uk/hscni
Phone First text relay number 18001 0300 123 3 111