Operations cancelled as Hospital staff fall ill

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ELECTIVE operations for six patients due to go ahead today have been cancelled due to 'significant' levels of sickness among staff at the Hospital, the Health Department has said.

A 'red alert' was triggered at the Hospital last week and again on Tuesday after an increase in admissions of patients with winter-related illnesses, including flu and the highly contagious vomiting bug, norovirus. People were advised not to go to the Hospital unless there was an emergency.

The red alert has now been downgraded to amber. However, the department said that the Hospital remained under pressure and the situation was under ongoing review. Significant levels of sickness among Hospital staff have added to the situation.

A red alert is defined as a sustained pressure on hospital beds, with fewer than five beds available within the adult wards. An amber alert covers a maximum of ten and minimum of five total available beds.

Deputy director of operations at the Hospital, Gary Kynman, said: 'Cancelling theatre procedures is regrettable. However, there is a minimum safe level of operating theatre staff and when we cannot provide sufficient staff due to illness, we have no other option.

'We would like to apologise to those affected for the inconvenience caused – we will do everything possible to ensure they are given the quickest possible alternative appointment.'

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