There are 21 people on trolleys and wards at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny today according to the INMO, as the HSE announces its Winter Plan for 2019/2020.
During winter, hospitals, and in particular their Emergency Departments (EDs), are under pressure due to increased demand from the public. That’s why St Luke’s General Hospital is asking you to prepare for this winter season by:
Getting the Flu Vaccine and making sure your pneumonia vaccine is up to date.
Making sure you have enough medication for over the Christmas period.
Talking to your pharmacist or healthcare provider about taking the correct doses of your medication
Confirming you know how to use any medical devices you might need
Planning what to do if you become ill
Knowing your symptoms
"St Luke's hospital, like all hospitals in the country, expect to be extremely busy over the winter period," said CEO of St Luke’s General Hospital Anne Slattery.
"All our staff are prepared as best they can be. We have plans in place to deal with the extra demand on our services. However, we just ask everyone becomes winter ready if they're not already, and they become familiar with all their treatment options.”
It's also crucial that you know your GPs opening hours over the winter and have their contact details. Be aware of your local pharmacy’s opening hours as well. Pharmacists can be your first port of call if you feel a cold or other illness coming on.
The Flu Vaccine is a very important tool to protect yourself against sickness this winter. Especially for those over 65 years, woman who are pregnant and children. You can get your vaccine in your pharmacy or from your GP.
The frailty work being carried out by St Luke’s General Hospital means elderly or physically vulnerable patients who attend our ED will be seen in a timely fashion, when possible, and given specific treatment which will hopefully allow them to return to their home. This frees up our doctors and nurses to treat those who need it most.
The HSE is also providing a whole suite of information online, through their website, this includes Under the Weather, Stay Well this Winter and Injury Units. This offers information on the flu vaccine, antibiotics, your injury unit and emergency care.