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Temporary Pause to Visiting at Altnagelvin and Waterside Hospitals from 12midnight on Friday 9 July 2021


Due to the significant increase in Covid-19 transmission in our Communities and subsequently the sharp rise in admissions of Covid-19 patients to our hospitals in recent days, the Western Trust has had to make the decision to temporarily pause visiting to Altnagelvin and Waterside Hospitals.

This pause on visiting arrangements will be implemented from 12 midnight on Friday 9th July for a period of 1 week initially and this will be subject to daily monitoring and review.


Western Trust Chief Executive, Neil Guckian, commented:

“We have seen a significant recent spike in Covid-19 transmissions and this is particularly prevalent in the North West where it is currently the highest rate in the region, with the Derry and Strabane Council area having reached 372.1 per 100k today”

“Additionally, in recent days, we have experienced a number of visitors to our Altnagelvin Hospital who have since confirmed through track and trace that they are Covid-19 positive. This is a serious concern and with the sharp rise in patient admissions to our hospital, the impact this has both in terms of staffing and bed capacity in the hospital and with the increase in Community transmissions, we have had to make the decision to temporarily pause visiting to our Altnagelvin and Waterside hospitals.”

“This rise in transmission and admissions is also coming at a time when the Trust continues to deal with the additional pressures faced in our Emergency Departments. I understand that this may be very disappointing for the local community. However the safety of our patients and staff will always be our first priority.”

Visiting to Altnagelvin and Waterside hospitals in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life care, will continue to be possible and in each instance will be subject to local risk assessment. Please contact the local ward manager where relevant.

At this stage there will be no change to visiting arrangements in our Fermanagh and Omagh hospitals.

Importance of the Vaccine Programme

All of this continues to highlight the massive importance of our Vaccination Programme.

“This week our Vaccination programme Team reached the milestone of delivering 200,000 Vaccine doses. This is a massive achievement and I thank everyone across our teams who have been, and continue to be, involved in this.”

“We must continue to push forward with this and in order to further facilitate everyone to receive the vaccine we have now made our Mass Vaccination Centres all walk-in facilities in addition to booking your vaccine there. We are also now rolling out Mobile Vaccine Walk-In Clinics and I would urge everyone, and in particular those aged 18-29, to come forward now to get your vaccine.”

Information on how to access getting the vaccine at any of our centres and also at the Mobile Vaccine Walk-In Clinics is available on our website and the link is below.

Neil continued: “In light of this information I would ask the public to continue to be vigilant in getting on top of this and adhering to all the Covid-19 guidelines currently in place such as social distancing, wearing of face masks and hand sanitising. Thank you and please continue to work together to stay safe over the bank holiday weekend.”

To find out about how you can get your vaccine at any of the Mass Vaccination Centres or Mobile walk-in clinics, you can visit the Western Trust Vaccination Info page:

If you are planning to attend one of our Hospitals, facilities or the Mass Vaccination Centres, please do not do so if you:

  • Are currently unwell with a high temperature or fever
  • Have had a first positive test for COVID-19 in the last 28 Days
  • You have been advised to self-isolate
  • Had any vaccine (including flu) in the last 7 days.

Anyone attending any Western Trust Facility or to the Mass Vaccination Centres, or mobile walk in clinics, is reminded to wear a face covering (unless exempt for medical reasons) and adhere to social distancing rules.