Current Southern Trust Pressures Not Just Covid 19

The Southern Trust has stated that their current pressures have returned to what they were before the Covid 19 pandemic. The statement comes following both the Belfast Trust and South Eastern Trust calling for staff that is absent to call in and help out if possible. However the Southern Trust have indicated that although some of the patients have Covid 19 a lot of this issue is down to a lack of beds, lack of space, covid restrictions for example social distancing and discharge issues.

Speaking on the issue a spokesperson for the Trust said:

“In the context of significantly increasing numbers of patients presenting with Covid, including those who have been double vaccinated, like other hospitals across Northern Ireland, our Emergency Departments are seeing increasing numbers of patients arriving for treatment.  Attendances have returned to pre-Covid levels usually experienced during the winter quarter.

Our dedicated staff are doing everything they can to make patients comfortable, treat everyone as safely and quickly as possible and maintain social distancing in our waiting areas. Despite all of this, regrettably some people are experiencing longer waits.”

 “We are facing ongoing challenges in admitting patients. The acute hospital estates were built more than 40 years ago and are not as spacious as more recent units.  They are working at almost full capacity and there is restricted space in our hospitals due to COVID-19 infection prevention measures.

Most of the long waits in the Emergency Department are due to patients waiting for a bed to become available following another patient’s discharge. This has a direct impact on the length of time new patients who arrive at the Department will have to wait to be seen.”


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