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Procedures still being carried out at South Tyrone Hospital despite Covid-19 pressures

Some procedures are still being carried out at Dungannon’s South Tyrone Hospital, despite COVID-19 pressures, the Southern Trust has confirmed.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a spokesperson for the Southern Trust said COVID-19 pressures have forced the Trust to stand down all but the most urgent elective surgery and some red-flag cancer surgery.

However, the spokesperson did confirm some procedures, such as endoscopy services are still being carried out at the site’s theatres.

“The very significant increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 is placing unprecedented demand and pressure on hospital beds,” said the spokesperson.

“This has resulted, unfortunately, in the Trust having to take the very difficult decision to stand down all but the most urgent elective surgery, including some red-flag cancer surgery and to redeploy staff from South Tyrone Hospital theatres (along with staff in other Trust Hospitals) to Craigavon Area Hospital.

“This is required to meet the urgent and immediate needs of extremely ill patients, especially both COVID and non-COVID patients needing ICU care.

“South Tyrone Hospital theatres continues to provide some procedures such as endoscopy services and some services on a regional basis.”

The comment follows a call from a Dungannon councillor who sought assurances that the theatre space at the South Tyrone Hospital is being fully utilised.

Councillor Dominic Molloy made the call at January’s meeting of Mid Ulster District Council, following Councillor Dan Kerr’s request that members “lobby the powers that be” to get red-flag operations going again.

Councillor Molloy urged Council to write to the Southern Health and Social Care Trust seeking assurances that no theatre space is being wasted.

“I would like some kind of reassurance from the Southern Trust that the South Tyrone Hospital has been, and is being, fully utilised,” said Councillor Molloy.

“I mean in terms of theatre opportunities, both major and minor surgeries can be carried out at the site.

“Given the waiting lists at present and the likelihood these are only going to increase I think we need reassurances from the Trust that these buildings are fully utilised.”

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