South east health trust implores public to get vaccinated to ease ‘extreme pressure’ on A&E after shocking Ulster figure revealed

The South Eastern Health Trust has implored unvaccinated people to get their Covid jabs, after the serious pressures on Ulster Hospital’s Emergency Department were laid bare last week.

By Adam Kula
Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 4:48 pm
Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine being prepared.
Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine being prepared.

SDLP MLA Colin McGrath had uncovered – via a question to the health minister – that the hospital’s A&E wing had issued no fewer than 46 public warnings of “extreme pressure” in the ward over a recent 14-month period.

The warnings notified people who were sick or injured of significant waiting times, and advised that they go to GPs or pharmacies if their cases were not purely time-sensitive medical emergencies.

The trust has now said “there are capacity problems for inpatient care and staffing shortages across the NHS”, not just in its area.

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The problem was not merely down to an influx of Covid patients, and there were also staff shortages “due in part to staff requiring to self-isolate”.

In terms of what the public can do, it said: “A number of hospital beds, especially intensive care beds are currently held by patients who have not received a vaccine for coronavirus, we would therefore like the opportunity to encourage the public to get vaccinated to help prevent avoidable hospital admissions.

“By reducing the number of Covid positive patients requiring emergency care and those that subsequently require admission will relieve some of the pressures and reduce risk for other patients and staff.”


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