The emergency room at Ulster Hospital is seeing an increase in the number of patients admitted with Covid-19.
Tuesday, This was stated by the Southeast Health and Welfare FundThere were 109 ED patients under severe stress at Ulster Hospital and 61 awaiting hospital treatment.
The fund also issued an urgent appeal Nursing staff to assist the emergency wards of Ulster and Lagan Valley Hospitals as well as the medical wards of any hospital.
It came after all remaining Covid-19 restrictions were officially lifted at 5pm on Tuesday after Health Minister Robin Swan sent the legislation to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
On Wednesday morning, there were 58 ED patients in Ulster who waited 45 hours longer in bed.
45 patients waited in bed, and 32 patients waited for more than 12 hours.
Jennifer Nicholson, an emergency room nurse at Ulster Hospital, said that although the situation has eased, there are still early days and numbers are expected to rise.
He told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster program that the additional pressure was caused by a number of factors, including increased access to Covid.
“Over the past 10 days, we have seen an increase in the number of critically ill patients who require emergency care. Unfortunately, these patients are needed due to a long hospital stay,” he explained.
“We have also seen an increase in the number of medically trained patients who are ready to be discharged, and we are appealing to these patients and their families to help us get out of the hospital as soon as possible.”
Ms Nicholson said the fund had also seen an increase in recipients for Covid.
“At the beginning of last week we had a number of patients in the mid-40s and this morning we had 89 patients in the hospital, now with covid.
He added, “We have a lot of people working with Covid and the common winter illness, and this is affecting our workforce, which is available to care for these patients.”
“We currently have an 11.8% sickness discount and this is in line with what other funds in the region are experiencing.”
When asked to increase Covid access to remove all remaining legal restrictions, Ms Nicholson said:
“We have given this advice to our employees and the community and want to maintain a social distance, and continue to wear face masks and hand washing practices.
“We continue to follow the instructions and we see an increase in patients arriving with Covid, so we don’t feel like it’s over.”
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