Hospital visits 'significantly reduced'

Escalation notice issued for hospital.

Visiting restrictions have been imposed at Cavan General Hospital to “help prevent the transmission” of possible infection to already vulnerable patients.

It comes as management on Monday morning (December 11) issued a notice to the public warning their Emegency Department is currently experiencing “high volumes” of patients, and as a result asked that those in need of non-urgent medical care access “alternative pathways”.

The “escalation” notice was issued by Su-Zann O’Callaghan, General Manager at Cavan & Monaghan Hospital.

“We are still providing full emergency care if it is required,” says the statement.

Those with non-serious illness to avoid the facility and to instead contact their GP or pharmacy for assistance.

There has already been a marked rise in the number of RSV infections being reported in the community.

In 2022, RSV infections surged outside of the normal winter season, with some experts attributing this as a consequence of low exposures during the COVID-19 social distancing measures and lockdown periods.

This year reports of RSV circulating began earlier, and this has caused an increase in hospital admissions.

Last Friday, December 8, hospital trolley figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation highlighted a total of six patients waiting for a bed at Cavan General Hospital.

Following the weekend, Monday, those numbers increased to 16.

With regard to the newly announced visiting restrictions, Ms O'Callaghan informed the Celt: “Over the next few weeks due to Covid and other flu like illnesses and considering this is already a busy period, visiting will be significantly reduced to help prevent the transmission of infection to vulnerable patients.”

She added that visiting in Cavan & Monaghan Hospital will “be at the discretion of the ward manager” during this time, and furthermore that children will “only be permitted in very exceptional circumstances”.