A Northern Ireland health trust has tonight (Sunday) issued a plea for help – on social media.
The Western Health and Social Care Trust have put out an urgent call for off-duty staff in the vicinity of the South West Acute Hospital to come in and help as the hospital itself relieves the pressure on the system across Northern Ireland.
The staggering post on Facebook, which has attracted an equally staggering response of support, 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.”
A statement released by the Southern Trust said: “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 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.”