WITH effect from midday today, an interim Emergency Department is to open to all ambulance, GP and walk-in admissions at Letterkenny General Hospital (LGH)
The department will cater for patients in an area covering the north and west of Donegal (north of the Barnesmore Gap).
The temporary department opened to ambulance admissions on a phased basis on Saturday.
On Sunday the area covered by ambulance admissions was increased and NoWDOC referrals from Letterkenny and Inishowen.
Yesterday, the hospital was continuing to increase access and has moved into Phase 3 of the reopening.
“It is anticipated the ED will be open to self–presenting patients from noon on Tuesday 20th August and this will restore the emergency department to walk in patients,” a hospital spokesperson said.
Mr Sean Murphy, Hospital Manager said the re-opening of the Emergency Department on a phased basis is essential so that they can deliver the services in a safe and tested way.
“The weekend opening to ambulances and some GP referrals was a success and we are continuing to extend the areas for which we can accept ambulance and GP referrals over the next 24 hours.
“The ability to accept walk-in patients from tomorrow, Tuesday, will be a further milestone towards the resumption of full services. We will also be reviewing tomorrow the timetable for increasing our catchment to South Donegal.”
Mr Murphy said the delivery of interim Radiology and Emergency Departments capable of managing the workload of one of the country’s busiest Regional emergency hospitals within 21 days is an “extraordinary achievement.”
“I particularly want to thank all of our staff, estates (department), and the contractors who have toiled long and hard to put the interim Emergency Department and all of the current services in place.
“I would also like to thank the local community who has supported us through the last 21 days and ask for your continued patience and co-operation over the coming days in order to ensure a safe transition to these new interim departments which have had to be effectively built from scratch.”
He also paid tribute to their colleagues in Sligo Regional Hospital, Altnagelvin Hospital and South West Acute Hospital (Enniskillen) for their support in treating emergency patients from Donegal.
“Their co-operation was essential to our ability to maintain an emergency cover for the people of Donegal. “Our thanks must also go to our colleagues in the National Ambulance Service, Primary Care and Community Services for all of the resources, help and support that they provided and continue to provide.
“I look forward to the continuing development of the hospital and to bringing all of our services back on line over the coming months.”
Patients can get the latest information on www.hse.ie/letterkenny or from radio and press adverts.