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Updated Position on Red Flag Surgery/Treatment


Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services at the Western Trust said: “On Monday 18th January 2021, the Trust had to take the very difficult decision to postpone all red flag surgery/treatments.

“This decision was taken as part of the regional arrangement to manage our capacity to treat both respiratory dependent patients and critical care patients. The Trust agreed to move our critical care capacity (ICU) from 12 to 16 beds at Altnagelvin Hospital and from 6 to 8 beds in South West Acute Hospital. In order to do so we had to redeploy staff from theatres. These staff have training and experience that makes them best suited for redeployment to ICU.

“The impact of this was that we could not provide the necessary theatre staff to accommodate the red flag cancer cases going to theatre this week (w/c 18th January).”

Geraldine continued: “The Trust remains under extreme pressure, and whilst very challenging, from Monday 25th January we are in a position to reschedule a number of the patients who had their red flag cancer surgeries/procedures cancelled over the past week. We will continue to review this decision regularly in line with the ongoing pressures due to Covid-19 in our Hospitals and particularly in our ICUs.”

“We would like to again sincerely apologise to our patients, their families and carers affected by their surgery/treatment being postponed.”