Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Flooded hospital to begin reopening

Flash flooding caused millions of euro of damage at Letterkenny General Hospital last month

A hospital damaged in flash flooding is to begin reopening its emergency department tomorrow.

A major clean-up operation has been under way at Letterkenny General Hospital since millions of euro of damage was caused last month.

Health chiefs said an interim emergency department will open to ambulance admissions in the morning, with self presenting patients to be accepted by early next week.

Until then members of the public still attend Sligo Regional Hospital and Altnagelvin Hospital, in nearby Co Derry.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) said 40% of hospital services were affected by the flooding.

"It will be some time before we have all the information to determine when the hospital will return to pre-flood conditions, but it is likely to be several months," it said.

"However we are working to resume all services in the coming weeks."

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine said Trojan efforts have continued on site over the last three weeks to open an interim facility.

The temporary radiology service has also been commissioned and is now in place.

"The association recognises the significant burden placed on neighbouring EDs over the past weeks," it said.

"This burden fell disproportionately on Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry initially but over the past fortnight the majority of patients have been seen in the ED at Sligo Regional Hospital with some patients also being seen in Altnagelvin and at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.

"The efforts of medical, nursing, clerical and support staff in these adjacent units is very much appreciated by the association."

The hospital was forced to declare an emergency situation after torrential rain flooded a number of different areas, leaving them damaged and soiled

Areas worst hit included the emergency department, and the radiology, outpatients, pathology and medical records departments. Several wards and kitchens were also flooded.

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