‘Significant’ number of St John’s staff off work due to the coronavirus

‘Significant’ number of St John’s staff off work due to the coronavirus

A “SIGNIFICANT” number of staff based at St John’s Hospital are out sick from work, having either caught Covid-19 or self-isolating as a precaution.

Informed sources have also told the Limerick Leader that many staff from the day hospital in Johnsgate have transferred across to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) to help the workforce, which is stretched to the limit in dealing with the pandemic in Dooradoyle.

And as a result of this​, patents cannot transfer from the emergency departmentat UHL to St John’s Hospital.

A UHL spokesperson confirmed this in a statement, while the Limerick Leader has contacted St John’s Hospital for further comment.​

It comes after trolley figures in UHL have recorded a slight spike in the last few days, after low numbers last week.

A spokesperson for UHL urged patients not suffering the symptoms of Covid-19 to still come to the hospital if they have emergency issues – saying early detection remains key.

“While it is positive that these patients are now seeking medical attention, our clinicians are reporting that some patients have delayed seeking help because of the widespread anxiety over Covid-19 and are sicker as a result. These patients will require a longer stay in hospital,” they said.

Another reason for a spike in hospital figures at UHL, the spokesperson said, is because St John’s Hospital is not able to accept transfers.​

The spokesperson said this decision has been made “in the interests of patient and staff safety.”

“We are working closely with management in St John’s to ensure the timely return to work of these staff in line with the national guidelines and to ensure St John’s is available to again accept transfers from UHL as soon as possible,” they said.

The spokesperson also confirmed the minor injuries unit in St John’s continues to operate seven days a week between 8am and 7pm.

“​Patients who present out-of-hours with minor injuries that cannot wait until the following morning can continue to attend the ED at UHL,” they added.

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