LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus NI - Rising Covid-19 admissions force NI health trust to cancel some surgical procedures

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has cancelled some surgical procedures to free up frontline staff to help with rising number of Covid-19 hospitalisations.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 4:07 pm

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Rising hospital admissions has forced one Northern Ireland health trust to cancel some surgical procedures.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus NI - Rising Covid-19 admissions force NI health trust to cancel some surgical procedures

Last updated: Friday, 23 July, 2021, 15:49

Rising Covid-19 admissions force NI health trust to cancel some surgical procedures

The Belfast Trust has postponed non-time critical orthopaedic surgery due to “significant pressures” facing the health system and the recent rise in Covid-19 admissions.

All patients affected will be notified of their postponement by phone and will be offered a rescheduled date as soon as possible.

Currently Belfast Trust is caring for 71 Covid-19 inpatients.

Medical director Chris Hagan said: “We would like to apologise to those patients and families affected by this decision, it is not one we wanted to make and we appreciate the anxiety it will cause.

“However, this is the only way we can ensure safe staffing levels for patients who are most acutely ill, whilst allowing regional complex surgery to continue at Belfast City Hospital.”

“In addition we have identified that 60% of patients admitted with Covid-19 symptoms are not vaccinated. It is therefore vital that everyone eligible receives the vaccination as soon as possible by using the booking system or calling into one of the many drop-in centres this weekend.”

Six patients with Covid-19 have been moved to intensive care units (ICU) across Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours

Six patients with Covid-19 have been moved to intensive care units (ICU) across Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday there were 10 patients in ICU but that number increased by six overnight.

Northern Ireland’s ICU bed capacity now stands at 92%.

The Department of Health (DoH) also reported a further 1,337 new infections and one additional Covid-19 related death.

Health trust could begin cancelling some medical procedures next week because 60% of Covid-19 admissions are unvaccinated

The Medical Director of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) has said, due to a rise in hospital admissions of people who are not vaccinated , health chiefs will have to decide within days to cancel some operations and other medical procedures.

“We have been under significant pressure in the Belfast trust these last few months with unscheduled care admissions but over the last few weeks we have seen a rising in the number of Covid infections, for instance, a week ago in Belfast there were approximately 1,100 infections and that’s risen now to 2,800,” said Medical Director of the BHSCT, Chris Hagan.

“If rates continue to rise as they are, next week we will more than likely have to take decisions to reduce some of our normal work which will obviously impact on our waiting times which is the last thing we want to do.”

Mr. Hagan said the best way people could help to alleviate the pressure on medical staff was to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

“I cannot stress enough the importance the highest number of people as possible get vaccinated - it’s our way out of this,” he added.

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