THE WESTERN Trust has reassured local patients that elective surgery is continuing at the SWAH, however it has confirmed some operations have been cancelled in recent weeks due to staffing and Covid pressures.
With the virus continuing to spread locally, pressure is continuing to mount on the hospital, particularly due to staff absences. As a result, the Trust said some elective procedures at the SWAH have had to be postponed, however it stressed the service was continuing.
In a statement released to the Herald, a spokesman for the Trust said, “Elective Surgery at the South West Acute Hospital has not stopped. However, there has been a reduction in elective theatre lists due to Covid-19 sickness/ other workforce absence.
“A small number of theatre lists were postponed a fortnight ago due to unforeseen Covid-19 staff absence.
We are working to ensure all patients who have had their procedure postponed are rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.
“The Trust continues to prioritise emergency and red flag cancer surgery.
“No services have been proactively reduced as a result of increased pressures at this time.”
Cllr Donal O’Cofaigh, pictured right, who had been concerned about reports of cancelled surgeries at the hospital, said the Trust’s response was “a positive reassurance.”
“There were concerns the postponement of elective surgery portended to a more serious reduction in surgery at the site, so this does provide us with some assurance that things will return back to normal,” he said.
“We do know there are extraordinary pressures from Covid, but it has taken weeks to receive this information back.
“We obviously need to be very vigilant in regard to these sort of services because we have seen other hospitals where they have disappeared over night.
“It remains concerning that staffing issues at SWAH are problematic and that this may result in certain services being under threat at a future point, but at this point this is a positive response.”
Meanwhile, the number of Covid patients being treated at the SWAH remains high, when compared to the last two years of the pandemic.
At the time of going to print yesterday (Tuesday) 34 Covid patients were being treated at the hospital, down slightly on the 43 patients being treated on the same day last week.
The number of positive Covid cases in the local community has also fallen this week, with 209 cases in Fermanagh postcode areas, down from 319 last week.
Sadly, two more people had contracted the virus have passed away in the Fermanagh and Omagh area this week.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition