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‘We need your help’ as Trust appeals for off-duty staff in Craigavon to work ‘any hours you can’

The Southern Trust has tonight (Sunday) issued a desperate appeal for off-duty staff to work “any hours you can” at Craigavon Area Hospital.

The Hospital is at critical mass this evening as Trust bosses try and rally troops in a bid to stem an enveloping crisis.

In a text message to all staff, they pleaded for assistance. “We need your help tonight in Craigavon Area Hospital for any hours that you can work,” the message read.

“Please email the nurse bank if you can work and we will direct you to a ward. Critical shift rate applies.”

Sinn Fein MLA Liz Kimmins, who shared the messages, commented: “Messages received tonight by those on the Nursing Bank list for SHSCT, yet still we have people claiming our hospitals are not busy.

“Similar info coming from South West Acute Hospital. This is very serious, it has never been more important that we follow the public health advice.”

The Trust also released a statement on social media, it read: “Craigavon and Daisy Hill Hospitals are extremely busy tonight.

“Our staff have responded superbly and we have been able to open additional beds to support the high numbers of Covid-19 positive patients needing hospital care.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to offer help and support. The situation is currently very difficult but stable and we expect this high level of demand to continue over the next few weeks.

“We are appealing to the public to work with us, follow the guidelines and do everything you can to support our health and care services during these unprecedented times.”

It coincides with the Western Health and Social Care Trust putting out an urgent call for off-duty staff in the vicinity of the South West Acute Hospital.

A statement also released this evening read: “Due to increasing pressures on the healthcare system regionally this evening, the South West Acute Hospital will be accepting patient diverts.

“We would appeal to any off-duty staff who can come in this evening to help facilitate this, to please make contact with the hospital or go directly to the hospital.”

The situation comes less than 24 hours after ambulances were seen queuing up outside Daisy Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department on Saturday night. 

SDLP’s Justin McNulty shared the short video on his social media, with the words: “Scary for patients and staff. God bless them all.”

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