Emergency General Surgery – South West Acute Hospital
The Western Trust will temporarily withdraw Emergency General Surgery Services at South West Acute Hospital from 18 December 2022. The Western Trust has faced challenges recruiting general surgeons to cover the emergency general surgical rota. This unplanned change is necessary to protect the health and safety of patients in the area who require access to Emergency General Surgery. The Western Trust is working to establish an overnight elective centre at the hospital in the near future.
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Temporary Patient Pathways for South West Acute Hospital Emergency General Surgery
The Western Trust has developed a number of patient pathways to support the temporary unplanned changes taking place with Emergency General Surgery at South West Acute Hospital from 18 December 2022. Patient pathways is a term used to describe how patients move though the health care system. The Western Trust has engaged with partners in the Southern Trust, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), Sligo General Hospital and the Trauma Network to establish the following patient pathways:
Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding
Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding (this refers to bleeding from the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum) – patients with upper GI bleeding will be taken to Altnagelvin Hospital or Craigavon Hospital based on paramedic assessment and location they are in).
Acute Scrotal or Hernia Pain
Acute Scrotal or Hernia Pain – Patients will bypass South West Acute Hospital and be taken to Altnagelvin Hospital or Craigavon Hospital based on Paramedic assessment and the location they are in – with the exception of those under the age of 5, who will be transferred to Sick Children’s at Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.
Abdominal Pain – Patients who self-present at the Emergency Department will continue to be assessed and managed with inter hospital transfer as required. Any patient over 55 years of age complaining of abdominal pain will be taken to Altnagelvin Hospital or Craigavon Hospital based on paramedic assessment and location they are in.
Trauma Management – all non-major accidents will continue to present to South West Acute Hospital. Patients who are critically unwell or have major trauma will not be taken to South West Acute Hospital Emergency Department by ambulance and will be transported to the most appropriate hospital for treatment of their injuries.
Post-Operative Complications (14 days or less)
Post-Operative Complications (14 days or less) – these patients should ideally attend the hospital where their original surgery was undertaken.
Children with head injuries
Children with head injuries – children who sustain a minor head injury and require admission for a short period of time, will be admitted to South West Acute Hospital under the care of the paediatric team as is the practice in other District General Hospitals.
Colorectal Surgery – All patients requiring colorectal surgery during the period of the temporary change to service will have their surgery in Altnagelvin Hospital.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Care
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Care – will remain at South West Acute Hospital. All patients who are under the care of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Team will have early assessment for possible complications during pregnancy. This will ensure that patients are cared for in the most appropriate clinical setting.