The Emergency Department at Portiuncula University Hospital in Ballinasloe is extremely busy today.
According to hospital management, the hospital has seen a significant increase in the numbers of patients presenting with respiratory and flu like illness.
They are encouraging the public to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of real emergencies and instead to contact your GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance. Adding however, that if you are seriously injured or ill, the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.
Patients attending the Emergency Department can expect to experience long delays.
Actions are underway in the hospital to try to alleviate the waiting times for patients requiring hospital admission including additional reviews and early discharges.
Management is also reminding the public not to visit patients in the hospital if they have recently had symptoms of the flu and to consider limiting their visiting if possible in an effort to prevent the spread of the flu in the hospital.
They are requesting that only immediate family visit patients in hospital and visitors are limited to two at any time. Children should not visit the hospital other than in exceptional circumstances and following discussion with the relevant ward manager.